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Antibiotics are chemical substances that kill or inhibit the growth of

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 257, Date : 09-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Antibiotics are chemical substances that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. The success of antibiotics against disease-causing bacteria is one of modern medicine’s great achievements. However, many bacteria harmful to humans have developed ways to circumvent the effects of antibiotics, and many infectious diseases are now much more difficult to treat than they were just a few decades ago. Antibiotic resistance is an especially difficult problem for hospitals with critically ill patients who are less able to fight off infections without the help of antibiotics.

Bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance because they have the ability to adapt quickly to new environmental conditions. Most commonly, bacteria share with each other genetic material called resistance plasmids; these shared plasmids, which contain the genetic code enabling antibiotic resistance, can spread throughout a bacterial population to create a strain of resistant bacteria. Less commonly, a natural mutation that enables antibiotic resistance takes place within the chromosome of the bacteria, and the resulting strain of bacteria can reproduce and become dominant via natural selection. In the absence of human involvement, however, bacteria in the wild rarely develop resistance to antibiotics.

In the United States, animals raised on industrial-scale factory farms are routinely administered low levels of antibiotics in their feed not as a cure for ongoing maladies, but primarily as a growth-enhancing agent to produce more meat and also as a prophylactic measure to compensate for overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Currently, several antibiotics that are used in human medical treatment are administered non-therapeutically to healthy livestock and poultry. Examples include tetracycline, penicillin and erythromycin. This long-term non-therapeutic feeding of antibiotics to animals creates the ideal conditions for the development of antibioticresistant bacteria, as it kills the susceptible bacteria while leaving the resistant strains to reproduce and flourish. Europe is far ahead of the United States in the responsible use of antibiotics: On January 1, 2006, the European Union banned the feeding of all antibiotics to livestock for nontherapeutic purposes. This sweeping policy follows a 1998 ban on the non therapeutic use of four medically-important antibiotics on animals. The time has come for the United States to follow Europe’s lead.


1. Based on the information in the passage, to which of the following practices would the author most likely be opposed?

A. Hospitals are hiring higher numbers of infectious disease specialists than ever before.
B. Many health insurance policies do not or only partially reimburse patients for prescriptions of the newest and most effective antibiotics.
C. The industrial farm industry contributes more than $100 million to incumbent members of Congress each year.
D. Physicians routinely prescribe antibiotics to patients with viral diseases, even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses.
E. Hospitals are enforcing more stringent “hand-hygiene” standards in an effort to reduce infections.



2.Based on the information in the passage, which of the following statements can be inferred?

A. Most industrial farms do not meet the standards for sanitation required by the United States government.
B. If the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics were halted worldwide, there would be no new resistant strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
C. European livestock and poultry are raised in more sanitary conditions than are those in the United States.
D. Hospitals are better learning to cope with the growing spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
E. It is possible for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals to be passed on to humans.



3. Which of the following best describes what the phrase “prophylactic measure” in the third paragraph means?

A. a measure to cure the animals of any existing infectious diseases
B. a contraceptive measure to prevent the animals from spreading genetic diseases
C. a pre-emptive measure to kill bacteria in the animals before the animals become ill
D. an antiseptic measure to kill surface bacteria in the surrounding environment
E. a measure that creates a physical barrier that protects the animals from the bacteria in the surrounding environment



4. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. advocating the banning of a practice
B. explaining the mechanism of a process
C. explaining the practices of a particular industry
D. describing the history of a phenomenon
E. weighing the costs versus the benefits of a practice



5.According to the passage, which of the following describes how bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance?

A. Radiation from medical devices such as x-ray machines weaken the immune system in both humans and animals.
B. Resistant strains developed through genetic engineering dominate a bacterial population through natural selection.
C. Medical practitioners over-prescribe antibiotics in hospitals which encourages bacteria to adapt and form resistant strains.
D.Genetic material containing the resistant trait is shared among a bacterial population.
E. Many antibiotics lose potency and become ineffective over time.



6. According to the passage, why are antibiotic-resistant bacteria problematic for humans?

(A) Antibiotics are no longer effective in treating disease.
(B) Some diseases are harder to treat because some antibiotics are less able to fulfill their prescribed function.
(C) Bacteria spread more easily in a hospital setting due to the close proximity of many patients who may harbor different bacteria.
(D) Bacteria can infect both humans and animals.
(E) Bacteria gain resistance via the exchange of plasmids.



7. Which of the following can be inferred about antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

(A) If bacteria did not contain antibiotic-resistant plasmids, then they would be incapable of developing resistance to antibiotics.
(B) Human involvement is necessary in order for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.
(C) The United States should ban the use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic uses.
(D) If bacteria were not able to adapt quickly to new environments, it would be more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.
(E) Critically ill patients with infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria are more likely to die.


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Originally posted by Skywalker18 on 04 Sep 2016, 06:57.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 09 Aug 2019, 21:47, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 18 Mar 2017, 03:21
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Hi,

Could somebody please provide a detailed explanation for Question 2 and 3 of this passage.
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New post 18 Mar 2017, 04:39
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Ashana Beria wrote:
Hi,

Could somebody please provide a detailed explanation for Question 2 and 3 of this passage.


Hi,

Here are my explanations

Q2. For this one, you have to read all the choices and go back to the passage and find out which one of them is correct.

A. Most industrial farms do not meet the standards for sanitation required by the United States government. Wrong, We know that some farms, such as animal farms, have unsanitary conditions and use non-therapeutic drugs to compensate for that. But we don't know whether this is the case for ALL farms.
B. If the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics were halted worldwide, there would be no new resistant strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Wrong, too extreme. The passage mentions "..bacteria in the wild rarely develop resistance to antibiotics". Rarely does not mean never.
C. European livestock and poultry are raised in more sanitary conditions than are those in the United States. Wrong, EU countries are better in dealing with non-therapeutic drugs, doesn't mean they have better sanitation.
D. Hospitals are better learning to cope with the growing spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Wrong, we don't know that. In fact, we have to scan the passage really hard to get anything related to hospitals.
E. It is possible for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals to be passed on to humans. Right. If this weren't the case then we shouldn't have been losing our sleep over the animal farms that use non-therapeutic drugs.


Q3. This one is best tackled by first thoroughly reading the relevant sentence and then applying POE unless of course, you know the exact meaning of the word. So by POE

A. a measure to cure the animals of any existing infectious diseases. Wrong, because in the sentence it is mentioned, "that In the United States, animals raised on industrial-scale factory farms are routinely administered low levels of antibiotics in their feed not as a cure for ongoing maladies..."
B. a contraceptive measure to prevent the animals from spreading genetic diseases. Wrong, because we are NOT worried about ANIMALS spreading genetic diseases but we are concerned how BACTERIA spreads its resistant genes.
C. a pre-emptive measure to kill bacteria in the animals before the animals become ill. Right. If you read the sentence carefully you can guess this option. If you are still not sure then hold this one as a contender and move on to next choices.
D. an antiseptic measure to kill surface bacteria in the surrounding environment. Wrong, we are concerned with bacteria within animals that resist drugs.
E. a measure that creates a physical barrier that protects the animals from the bacteria in the surrounding environment. Wrong, This one is kind of tricky. We don't know whether the drugs save those animals from external bacteria but if you read that 3rd paragraph you will find that these drugs kill weaker strains while leaving the stronger ones untouched. That means we are dealing with bacteria present within the animals not coming from outside.

Hope this helps.
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New post 02 Jun 2018, 20:44
kkrrsshh wrote:
Hi,

Could anyone please provide explanations for Q2 and Q3?
in Q3, its mentioned 'overcrowded and unsanitary conditions', so these are external conditions and not abt bacteria 'in the animal'.


Hi kkrrsshh. OE for 2 and 3.Hope this helps

2.
This is a GMAT inference question, which means that the correct answer is not
explicitly stated in the passage, but can be reasonably concluded or deduced based
on the given information. The correct choice is always a likely or probable
conclusion: if an answer choice requires you to assume too much or make a large
leap of faith, it is incorrect.
(A) We are not given any information as to the government’s standards regarding
sanitation. Although the passage states that antibiotics are used “to compensate for
overcrowded or unsanitary conditions,” the word “unsanitary” could refer to a wide
range of conditions considered unsanitary by the author and not necessarily those
that do not meet government standards. In addition, the fact that antibiotics are
“routinely” administered to compensate for such conditions could imply that such
conditions described as “unsanitary” by the author may be the norm and may
actually fall within government guidelines.
(B) The passage does not state that non-therapeutic use of antibiotics is the sole
cause of antibiotic resistance. Hence, it is not reasonable to conclude that halting
such use would prevent new types of resistant bacteria from developing.
(C) The passage says nothing to imply that conditions for European livestock and
poultry are generally better than those for their American counterparts.
(D) While this may be true in general, the passage does not state anything from
which such an inference can be made. It is not reasonable to conclude that hospitals
are better learning to cope with the problem simply because the problem is
becoming worse and they are forced to deal with it.
(E) CORRECT. In the first paragraph, the passage discusses how antibiotic resistant
bacteria are becoming a problem for the treatment of infectious diseases in humans.
The third paragraph, however, discusses a practice that promotes the spread of
antibiotic resistance in animals, and the conclusion of the passage calls for the ban
of this specific practice. In addition, in the third paragraph, the author makes a point
to specifically mention that some of those antibiotics are used to treat humans. If it
were not possible for the resistant bacteria in animals to infect humans, then there
would be no link between the animal bacteria and the author’s concern for human
health; the policy that is subsequently advocated would be moot. Hence, it is a
reasonable inference that antibiotic resistant bacteria in livestock and poultry can
indeed be spread to humans.
3.
While it is helpful to know that the dictionary definition of the adjective “prophylactic”
is “acting to defend against or prevent something, especially disease; protective,”
this knowledge is not necessary; the intended meaning of the phrase “prophylactic
measure” can be inferred from the context of the passage.
The beginning of the first sentence of the third paragraph specifically points out that
the antibiotics are used “not as a cure for ongoing maladies” and the last sentence of
the paragraph describes such use as “non-therapeutic.” In addition, the phrase “to
compensate for … unsanitary conditions” implies that the antibiotics were used to
counteract an environment replete with bacteria. Hence, it is reasonable to infer that
the antibiotics were applied as a preventive measure to protect the animals from
catching an infectious disease in such an environment.
(A) The passage specifically points out that the antibiotics are not used “as a cure for
ongoing maladies” and describes such use as “non-therapeutic.”
(B) The passage is not concerned with genetic diseases.
(C) CORRECT. Since the use of antibiotics in the farm industry is specifically
described to be “non-therapeutic,” it cannot be used as a curative measure and,
therefore, is most likely used as a pre-emptive measure in order to prevent or protect
the animals from developing infectious diseases.
(D) The passage states that the antibiotics are administered to the animals in their
feed. Hence, it is clearly not used as a surface disinfectant.
(E) The antibiotics are orally administered to the animals in their feed. There is
nothing in the passage to suggest that a “physical barrier” is involved in any way.
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New post 31 Jul 2018, 05:49
Hi Guys!

Great passage, got all of the questions right but the last one. I'm confused -

How is D the answer? D explains how the resistance trait spreads and not how it is developed. IMO option C explains how the overuse of anti-biotics causes bacteria to adapt and thus develop this resistance.

Your thoughts?
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New post 01 Oct 2018, 00:25
deep14 wrote:
Ashana Beria wrote:
Hi,

Could somebody please provide a detailed explanation for Question 2 and 3 of this passage.


Hi,

Here are my explanations

Q2. For this one, you have to read all the choices and go back to the passage and find out which one of them is correct.

A. Most industrial farms do not meet the standards for sanitation required by the United States government. Wrong, We know that some farms, such as animal farms, have unsanitary conditions and use non-therapeutic drugs to compensate for that. But we don't know whether this is the case for ALL farms.
B. If the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics were halted worldwide, there would be no new resistant strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Wrong, too extreme. The passage mentions "..bacteria in the wild rarely develop resistance to antibiotics". Rarely does not mean never.
C. European livestock and poultry are raised in more sanitary conditions than are those in the United States. Wrong, EU countries are better in dealing with non-therapeutic drugs, doesn't mean they have better sanitation.
D. Hospitals are better learning to cope with the growing spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Wrong, we don't know that. In fact, we have to scan the passage really hard to get anything related to hospitals.
E. It is possible for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals to be passed on to humans. Right. If this weren't the case then we shouldn't have been losing our sleep over the animal farms that use non-therapeutic drugs.


Q3. This one is best tackled by first thoroughly reading the relevant sentence and then applying POE unless of course, you know the exact meaning of the word. So by POE

A. a measure to cure the animals of any existing infectious diseases. Wrong, because in the sentence it is mentioned, "that In the United States, animals raised on industrial-scale factory farms are routinely administered low levels of antibiotics in their feed not as a cure for ongoing maladies..."
B. a contraceptive measure to prevent the animals from spreading genetic diseases. Wrong, because we are NOT worried about ANIMALS spreading genetic diseases but we are concerned how BACTERIA spreads its resistant genes.
C. a pre-emptive measure to kill bacteria in the animals before the animals become ill. Right. If you read the sentence carefully you can guess this option. If you are still not sure then hold this one as a contender and move on to next choices.
D. an antiseptic measure to kill surface bacteria in the surrounding environment. Wrong, we are concerned with bacteria within animals that resist drugs.
E. a measure that creates a physical barrier that protects the animals from the bacteria in the surrounding environment. Wrong, This one is kind of tricky. We don't know whether the drugs save those animals from external bacteria but if you read that 3rd paragraph you will find that these drugs kill weaker strains while leaving the stronger ones untouched. That means we are dealing with bacteria present within the animals not coming from outside.

Hope this helps.



Hi deep14,

As the entire passage mentions about the bacteria within the animal. The reason for elimination of E, D can't be by considering "coming from outside" as literally from outside the animal. I think knowing the meaning of 'prophylactic' would make it convenient for anyone to solve this question. If the meaning is not know, one has to closely look at the part (those sentence/s)of the passage.
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Re: Antibiotics are chemical substances that kill or inhibit the growth of  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2019, 10:38
Bunuel Skywalker18 I just got two questions we can add to this post.

According to the passage, why are antibiotic-resistant bacteria problematic for humans?

(A) Antibiotics are no longer effective in treating disease.

(B) Some diseases are harder to treat because some antibiotics are less able to fulfill their prescribed function.

(C) Bacteria spread more easily in a hospital setting due to the close proximity of many patients who may harbor different bacteria.

(D) Bacteria can infect both humans and animals.

(E) Bacteria gain resistance via the exchange of plasmids.



Which of the following can be inferred about antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

(A) If bacteria did not contain antibiotic-resistant plasmids, then they would be incapable of developing resistance to antibiotics.

(B) Human involvement is necessary in order for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

(C) The United States should ban the use of antibiotics for non-therapeutic uses.

(D) If bacteria were not able to adapt quickly to new environments, it would be more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

(E) Critically ill patients with infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria are more likely to die.


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New post 06 May 2019, 11:48
GMATNinja
I have a query regarding question number 5

Since the question asks that "how the bacteria develops the drug resistance", the correct answer should be the one that specifies the initiating process of developing drug resistance. But the option D, which is OA, mentions how the whole strain of bacteria becomes drug resistant and that will happen once the process of drug resistance has already initiated.
I think the correct answer should be C.
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New post 06 May 2019, 15:58
BarcaForLife wrote:
GMATNinja
I have a query regarding question number 5

Since the question asks that "how the bacteria develops the drug resistance", the correct answer should be the one that specifies the initiating process of developing drug resistance. But the option D, which is OA, mentions how the whole strain of bacteria becomes drug resistant and that will happen once the process of drug resistance has already initiated.
I think the correct answer should be C.



I THOUGHT THE EXACT SAME THING, AND THEY MENTIONED THAT THEY NEED HUMAN INVOLVEMENT, SO... DUHHHH IT SHOULD BE THE ANSWER. BUT THERE'S THE SCIENCE IN OPTION D, MECHANISM DEFINED IN PARA 2
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New post 07 Aug 2019, 20:59
misshelllobo wrote:
Hi Guys!

Great passage, got all of the questions right but the last one. I'm confused -

How is D the answer? D explains how the resistance trait spreads and not how it is developed. IMO option C explains how the overuse of anti-biotics causes bacteria to adapt and thus develop this resistance.

Your thoughts?


Yeh, I noticed that too. I don't think exam questions will have this kind of discrepancy.


P.S Can someone explain Q3 and how you reach the correct answer? Prophylactic is used for this like contraceptives and condoms. There's no clear evidence in passage to narrow down the option. How did people reach the option marked?
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New post 09 Aug 2019, 21:49
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Re: Antibiotics are chemical substances that kill or inhibit the growth of   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2019, 21:49
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