Compounding Effects of Climate Warming and Antibiotic Resistance

Compounding Effects of Climate Warming and Antibiotic Resistance

Injudicious use of antibiotics has led to the rapid spread of antibiotic resistant infections across the globe. Bacteria have evolved three mechanisms to survive and grow in the presence of antibiotics. Those mechanisms are tolerance, persistence and resistance. These mechanisms are modulated by environmental factors like temperature, pH and nutrient availability. Temperature and antibiotics can affect bacterial survival at three temporal and spatial scales. These include physiological responses, genetic responses and large scale responses. Of these, physiological pertains to occurring at micro-scale and affecting individual cells in a short period of time. Genetic responses – occurs due to persistence of antibiotics and/ or stressful temperature over a longer period of time wherein the resistant bacteria displaces the susceptible ones. And, large scale responses – characterized by spread of antibiotic resistance in the community, across various species.

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