Antibiotic Resistance: When Antibiotics No Longer Work

November 12-18 is celebrated throughout the world as World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

When we are sick from infections, we want to know that there is a cure. Antibiotics are precious medicines that should kill bacteria that cause infections, but unfortunately, some antibiotics are no longer effective. This is mainly because the precious medicines have been overused and misused over time, aiding changes in the bacteria. These changes make the precious medicines ineffective; in other words, the bacteria become resistant (or no longer respond) to the antibiotics.

Although the changes alluded to naturally occur in the bacteria as a survival strategy, when we overuse and misuse antibiotics the changes in the bacteria that make the antibiotics ineffective occur at a faster rate.

When the bacteria change and no longer respond to antibiotics the consequences are dire. For example, when we are sick, the antibiotics will not be able to deal with the sickness. Eye infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections, etc. may become untreatable. Modern clinical procedures such as surgery or chemotherapy will be risky without antibiotics that will be able to fight infections/diseases.

Photograph: Science History Images/Alamy/ and black

The world health organization has indicated that by 2050, 10million people will die of antibiotic-resistant infections if no solutions are found or if nothing is done about the situation. It means we are likely to lose critical staff and breadwinners. If people are sick and they are spending long periods in the hospitals because no antibiotic is working, such persons will not be able to work;  this can have negative economic implications.

The good news is that we can all do something to help stop or slow down the spread of antibiotic resistance.

There is a saying that to deal with the enemy, you need to know the enemy. We need more information on these resistant bacteria. For me as a medical research scientist, aside being part of the global force creating the awareness to handle antibiotics with care to stop or slow down antibiotic resistance, I am involved in a number of surveillance activities together with a team to understand resistant bacteria in humans, livestock and the environment. We investigate the bacteria to know which antibiotics will be resistant/susceptible or ‘work’ to inform treatment decisions. We also use cutting edge tools to track the transmission of these resistant germs in hospitals and community settings. We are also involved in the training of laboratory staff (in Ghana and in the West African region) so that they can identify these bacteria as well as determine which antibiotics can be used in treatment.

Think of how you can also help to stop or slow down the spread of antibiotic resistance; below are a few suggestions:

  1. Generally, if infections are prevented antibiotic treatment can be avoided (overuse and misuse of these precious medicines fast-track the changes in bacteria and subsequent resistance to the antibiotics), therefore simple handwashing can prevent a lot of infections/illnesses and this will reduce the need to take antibiotics.
  2. Antibiotics work for bacterial infections, so if you have conditions caused by a virus (e.g colds) there is no need to take antibiotics. Seek professional advice and follow the treatment plan.
  3. Avoid sharing antibiotics with family and friends. You may have similar symptoms with a friend or family but the germs involved may be totally different. Seek professional advice and follow a treatment plan.
  4. If you have a runny stomach and the doctor/clinician is treating with fluids, please don’t pressure the doctor to give you antibiotics; follow a treatment plan from the clinician.


To summarise, antibiotic resistance is accelerated by misuse and overuse of the precious medicines called antibiotics, as well as poor infection control. When bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics, our infections can become untreatable; our surgical procedures become risky/unsafe; this is a terrible situation.

Everybody has a role to play to stop or slow down the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotics are precious; let’s handle them with care.

Let’s spread the message.

Please scroll down for a brief about the author, and / or comment(s) on this publication.
You may have to read this publication again; you may click here to see why.

Other very interesting publications are further below. Kindly share this publication, and scroll down for readers' comments and / or to comment...
Specially selected items from our online shop

Antibiotic Resistance: When Antibiotics No Longer Work

About the Author

Picture of Beverly Egyir

Beverly Egyir

Hello, Beverly Egyir (Ph.D.) here. I work at the Bacteriology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana; as a Senior Research Fellow. I am also a Fellow under the Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx) Program and a member of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Group of Ghana. My research focus is on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, antimicrobial stewardship, and hospital and community-acquired infections. I use state-of-the-art phenotypic and molecular tools to understand the epidemiology of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria species isolated from humans, livestock, and the environment. Specifically, I study superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria and others- with an overall goal of tackling antimicrobial resistance in Ghana and on the African continent. I also teach and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of bacteriology and antimicrobial resistance. I have organized several training sessions for students/ laboratory staff on correct identification and performance of standard antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria species. I founded Women In Biomedicine, Africa, an organization born out of a passion to provide mentorship and career guidance for young women in biomedical careers; to harness their skills to significantly improve health care in Africa. I am also the co-founder of Seers foundation, an Extreme Human Resource Development Non-Governmental Organization, which is committed to grooming humanity for excellence, and raising exceptional doers. You may <a href="">click here</a> to <a href="">see more</a>.

Antibiotic Resistance: When Antibiotics No Longer Work

To comment you first have to log in below…

Leave a Reply

You may click the button below to send a message

Publications that are in the same category as the one above...


Most recent publications from our community members...

Provide the applicable details below and click the ‘Subscribe‘ button; that’s it. By the way, it’s FREE! And we do not spam; also, you can easily unsubscribe anytime…

We truly respect your privacy; you may click here to see our privacy policy

Already registered? Log in to dismiss this invite.
Not sure what registration is about? Click here.


Antibiotic Resistance: When Antibiotics No Longer Work

Great! standing by to hear from you

We delight in interacting with great people like you.

To attach files kindly click the 'Choose Files' button.
For the purposes of a Voice Call, SMS, or WhatsApp, the phone number is: +


You are about to enjoy access to premium stuff

Not sure what this is about? You may click here


In the diagram shown immediately above (with lines in orange colour) how many squares are there; how many squares can you make out in total?

Type your answer in the textbox below and click the ‘Submit’ button for a surprise…

Wait, are you a parent?

Claim your

Free Report Now!

You can pay in any valid currency of your choice. Also, several payment options are available; including Mobile Money, Bank Card, Etc.

To select (or reserve) an item you are interested in, just click the ‘Add to Basket‘ button beneath that particular item; please do this for each of the items you seek to add to your selection. And ‘View Your Selection / Basket‘ later, and then proceed to checkout.

For additional terms regarding ‘Direct Coaching‘ please scroll further down this Quick Guide. If you are new to buying online (online shopping) and need some additional (in-depth) guidance you may click the button below…

Direct Coaching

Comes in 2 main options, each with a different cost implication...

Prices shown for Direct Coaching* are for the popular choice... Option 1. This includes Bronze Membership, allowing you online access to special content to complement the Direct Coaching.

For Option 2, a minimum of 10 subscription purchases are required. Where trainee(s) opt for a significantly different training location / venue other than one within the reach of the facilitator, prorated facilitator transportation charges (FTC) may apply, in addition to the subscription purchases. Where it occurs, actual figures shall be determined and agreed upon prior to the training.


So in the diagram, how many squares did you make out in total; how many squares are there?

Well, most people get or give 16 as their answer. Some get 17 and a few get 21; and that’s at least better than the ‘16’ answer majority of people give. Just about 1 percent of people surveyed get the best answer; which is…

Well, get a full illustration of all the more than 21 possible ‘hidden’ squares…


One: Sometimes you need someone to show you the obvious, and oftentimes… the not so obvious! Credit to ZigZiglar

Two: Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it. Credit to Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis

Three: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Credit to Prophet Hosea

Four: The illiterates of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn! Credit to Alvin Toffler

Five: The greatest obstacle to progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge. Credit to Daniel Boorstin

Six: When you know the right things, the boundaries around your life suddenly disappear. Credit to Brian Sher