Antibiotic resistance refers to the ability of bacteria to survive or grow in the presence of antibiotics. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities are experiencing an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic-resistant infections cause the deaths of at least 700,000 people each year. Additionally, more than two million hospitalizations are caused by drug-resistant infections each year. Overuse of antibiotics by patients who do not take them only when they are prescribed is the most common cause of antibiotic resistance. Consequently, "superbugs" may develop that are resistant to all antibiotics known to science. Antimicrobials are also a major cause because they are misused and overused in animal feed, as well as on farms where animals are raised nearby. In natural processes, antimicrobial resistance results from mutations or horizontal gene transfers between bacteria via plasmids (small pieces of DNA) or transposons (large pieces of DNA). Vaccinations can also play a part in causing antibiotic resistance but also have the potential to be the deciding factor when battling against disease..
A vaccine consists of weakened microorganisms or viruses that can be used to prevent disease. In order to manufacture vaccines, cells, proteins, and other components of pathogenic organisms are used. Vaccines do not contain live microorganisms or viruses, but instead, contain inactive forms of these organisms. As a result, the body's immune system can be trained to identify and combat disease-causing organisms. Immunization against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and polio is enhanced when these vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies .
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