Ampicillin and other modern antibiotics kill a much wider variety of bacteria than penicillin does. They also carry h...

mg123 on May 7, 2020

Why is E incorrect?

Hello, I can understand why A is correct because it connects the idea of modern antibiotics killing a wider range of bacteria, which allows other bacteria to flourish in its absence. What I am uncertain of is why E would be incorrect. E states "most bacteria that are resistant to penicillin are not resistant to ampicillin and other modern antibiotics" I took that to infer that if these bacteria are resistant to penicillin but not yet to ampicillin, then the wide spread use of ampicillin can encourage that bacteria to evolve to become resistant to the more powerful, modern antibiotic. If bacteria is resistant to the ampicillin, then it is more likely to result in an outbreak of diseases caused by drug-resistant bacteria. Am I inferring too much within this answer choice? I know that historically, some bacterial strains have evolved over time to become resistant to antibiotics. That is why there is a push to use less antibiotics in meat production because it raises the chances that these bacteria will evolve to become resistant to the antibiotic, thus creating new super bugs. Am I overthinking this?

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Annie on May 7, 2020

Hi @mg123,

Answer (E) is incorrect because it ignores the conclusion you are trying to support. You want to find the answer choice which supports the conclusion that the new antibiotics will result in an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria. The passage tells us that new antibiotics kill lots of bacteria, even when its unnecessary to do so. Answer (A) tells us why this is a bad thing, because you need some bacteria around to keep drug-resistant bacteria down. Answer (E) on the other hand doesn't address why using the more aggressive antibiotics would result in an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria. In fact, it doesn't explain the connection with drug-resistant bacteria at all. You need an answer choice which connects these ideas, and Answer (A) does so. At the moment, your giving too much information to Answer (E) that doesn't actually exist in the question. It's important to not go beyond the information in the question.

mg123 on May 7, 2020

Hi Annie,

Thanks for the explanation, that totally makes sense! Thanks