Antibiotics are truly miraculous but conditional as it depends on how we use them. They are harmful to bacteria, the most common way they destroy is by punching a hole in the walls of bacteria so their internals spill out. When we talk of bacteria being gram positive or gram negative it a way of classifying the particular method they employ to destroy others or to protect themselves from others attacking them. Nature is forever competitive so bacteria or fungi are continually figuring out how to overcome those that are a threat to their space.
There have always been antibiotics but it was not until humans found a way of producing them in larger quantities allowing for there to be greater concentrations in one dosage and with a higher toxicity that we talk of them today. Sir Alexander Fleming and team noticed that a certain naturally existing fungi had a quite pronounced antibiotic effect and set about concentrating it into a super weapon – Penicillium and the rest is history but not the end of things for in comprehending antibiotics we must also understand genetic mutations, these happen at random with the majority causing no great positive or negative effect as any natural effort to kill a neighbour is tempered with a natural effort to build better defences but a sudden invasion of super natural born killers can changes this arrangement especially if the Vet’s instructions are not adhered to.
A situation that can exist is when an owner or trainer, seeing that the previously infected horse is so much better decides to leave off feeding the prescribed antibiotics too early the reason why this practise is dangerous is this – when the antibiotic is fed it kills the vast majority of baddies in huge numbers making the horse better in a few days however there will be a very small minority of bad bacteria that have stronger defences compared with the rest and instead of the antibiotics attaching and penetrating them in short time they need more time to make multiple adaptions to the way they destroy.
Now the manufacturers know this and take into account the possibility of the existence of these more resistance bacteria which although not sufficient in numbers to detract from the success of the recovery can with the premature termination of antibiotics brush themselves down and continue to live but even if their numbers are minutely small they may not be without influence in the longer term because there just maybe some of the more quicker-to-be- killed bad bacteria also remaining and as a consequence of the a bridge is formed and secrets shared this is known as ‘ bacteria conjugation’ and results in horizontal gene transfer.
The more susceptible but more prolific bacteria incorporate an extra defensive wall-building technique into their own genetic make-up which will in future make it harder for the original antibiotic to gain such success so easily again. By this way bad bacteria become, bit by bit, more resistant to known antibiotics. It has taken a long time for them to fight back but it is happening, Humans suffering serious infections with Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) pathogens in the US now exceeds 2 million with 23,000 deaths a year. Although your Vet will prescribe the narrowest spectrum possible , good bacteria will also be killed by the antibiotics so it is good practice to recolonize after antibiotic treatment to prevent bad fungi (Candida etc) which are unaffected by antibiotics taking advantage of space vacated and a sudden lack of competition.
A very efficient way of doing this is to feed Trinity Microcell 60 for at least 10 days after feeding the antibiotics for the entire length for which they are prescribed, the formula contains a particularly high level of virulent good bacteria , live yeast culture and proteolytic enzymes. In the healthy horse the lower intestinal tract will “balance” itself with near equal populations of both beneficial and harmless bacteria but when disease – producing- pathogens proliferate and gain the upper hand, all too often the result is intestinal imbalance and a disease condition. Recognising nature has no favourites in this microbiological race, owner and trainers can intercede on the positive side by feeding Microcell 60 as it helps redress the balance in favour of the beneficial population.
It has long been observed that any adverse situation causing a metabolic upset to horses in whatever form often results in the harbouring of increased levels of harmful coliform bacteria in the intestinal tract well before clinical symptoms of disease appear. In horses even simple change besides any more serious upsets can result in this disease mechanism being activated, by tipping the balance in favour of co-operation as opposed the conflict is one significant way Microcell 60 helps the horse to help itself.