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Multidrug resistance is the ability of disease-causing organisms to withstand a wide-variety of structurally and functionally distinct drugs or chemicals that are designed to aid in the eradication of such organisms. These organisms can be pathologic cells, including bacterial and neoplastic (tumor) cells.
Additional recommended knowledge
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Some bacteria have been able to adapt so that certain antibiotics are no longer effective. They have done this via several mechanisms.
Many different bacteria now exhibit multidrug resistance, including staphylococci, enterococci, gonococci, streptococci, salmonella, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and others. Additionally, some resistant bacteria are able to transfer copies of DNA that codes for a mechanism of resistance to other bacteria, thereby conferring resistance to their neighbors, who then are also able to pass on the resistant gene.
To limit the development of antibiotic resistance:
To help this process governments need to legislate greater restrictions on use of antibiotics, particularly for treating animals such as battery hens.
Cancer cells also have the ability to become resistant to multiple different drugs, and share many of the same mechanisms:
Because efflux is a significant contributor for multidrug resistance in cancer cells, current research is aimed at blocking specific efflux mechanisms. Treatment of cancer is complicated by the fact that there are such a variety of different DNA mutations that cause or contribute to tumor formation as well as a myriad of mechanisms by which cells resist drugs. There are also certain notable differences between antibiotic drugs and antineoplastic (anticancer) drugs that complicate designing antineoplastic agents. Antibiotics are designed to target sites that are specific and unique to bacteria, thereby harming bacteria without harming host cells. Cancer cells, on the other hand, are altered human cells, and therefore they are much more difficult to damage without also damaging healthy cells.
^ Gary Stix (April 2006). "An Antibiotic Resistance Fighter". Scientific American 294 (4): 81-83.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Multidrug_resistance". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|