‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’
Microbes are tiny living beings that can only be seen with the help of a microscope and the most common types are bacteria, virus, fungi, etc. Throughout history, these tiny organisms have challenged human life through epidemics and pandemics and the latest coronavirus has taken around 6.5 million lives globally. However, not all microbes are essentially evil and some of them are useful for our body to function properly. The philosophy is simple – kill the enemy before it kills you. As a response, medical research has developed drugs that help us fight them in the form of antimicrobials that include fungicides, antivirals, antibiotics, and parasiticides. With the invention of antimicrobials, we thought this is the end game and we need not worry about the future, but sadly these microbes had other plans. Microbes evolved and changed their DNA in such a way that they are no longer killed by antimicrobials that earlier killed them. This is called Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). According to a publication of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Anti-Microbial Resistance can be acquired through mutations. While we followed the ‘kill the enemy before it kills you’ philosophy, microbes followed the ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ philosophy.