<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Learning objectives

  • Contrast bacteriostatic versus bactericidal antibacterial activities
  • Contrast broad-spectrum drugs versus narrow-spectrum drugs
  • Explain the significance of superinfections
  • Discuss the significance of dosage and the route of administration of a drug
  • Identify factors and variables that can influence the side effects of a drug
  • Describe the significance of positive and negative interactions between drugs

Several factors are important in choosing the most appropriate antimicrobial drug therapy, including bacteriostatic versus bactericidal mechanisms, spectrum of activity , dosage and route of administration , the potential for side effects , and the potential interactions between drugs. The following discussion will focus primarily on antibacterial drugs , but the concepts translate to other antimicrobial classes.

Bacteriostatic versus bactericidal

Antibacterial drugs can be either bacteriostatic or bactericidal in their interactions with target bacteria. Bacteriostatic drugs cause a reversible inhibition of growth, with bacterial growth restarting after elimination of the drug. By contrast, bactericidal drugs kill their target bacteria. The decision of whether to use a bacteriostatic or bactericidal drugs depends on the type of infection and the immune status of the patient. In a patient with strong immune defenses, bacteriostatic and bactericidal drugs can be effective in achieving clinical cure. However, when a patient is immunocompromised, a bactericidal drug is essential for the successful treatment of infections. Regardless of the immune status of the patient, life-threatening infections such as acute endocarditis require the use of a bactericidal drug.

Spectrum of activity

The spectrum of activity of an antibacterial drug relates to diversity of targeted bacteria. A narrow-spectrum antimicrobial targets only specific subsets of bacterial pathogens. For example, some narrow-spectrum drugs only target gram-positive bacteria , whereas others target only gram-negative bacteria . If the pathogen causing an infection has been identified, it is best to use a narrow-spectrum antimicrobial and minimize collateral damage to the normal microbiota. A broad-spectrum antimicrobial targets a wide variety of bacterial pathogens, including both gram-positive and gram-negative species, and is frequently used as empiric therapy to cover a wide range of potential pathogens while waiting on the laboratory identification of the infecting pathogen. Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are also used for polymicrobic infections (mixed infection with multiple bacterial species), or as prophylactic prevention of infections with surgery/invasive procedures. Finally, broad-spectrum antimicrobials may be selected to treat an infection when a narrow-spectrum drug fails because of development of drug resistance by the target pathogen.

The risk associated with using broad-spectrum antimicrobials is that they will also target a broad spectrum of the normal microbiota, increasing the risk of a superinfection , a secondary infection in a patient having a preexisting infection. A superinfection develops when the antibacterial intended for the preexisting infection kills the protective microbiota , allowing another pathogen resistant to the antibacterial to proliferate and cause a secondary infection ( [link] ). Common examples of superinfections that develop as a result of antimicrobial usage include yeast infections ( candidiasis ) and pseudomembranous colitis caused by Clostridium difficile , which can be fatal.

Questions & Answers

reactions if viruses to physical and chemical agents?
VICTOR Reply
All viruses contain the following two components: 1) a nucleic acid genome and 2) a protein capsid that covers the genome. Together this is called the nucleocapsid. In addition, many animal viruses contain a 3) lipid envelope. The entire intact virus is called the virion.
Asali
assume you have performed a gram stain on a sample of pus from a patients urethra. you see red, nucleated cells and purple rods. what can you conclude
Petty Reply
bacteria
ABUBAKAR
Study of micro organisation which we cannot see with naked eye...
shyam Reply
Despite their bad reputation, microbes are mostly beneficial or have a neutral effect on our lives. Microbiology is the scientific study of these microorganisms. Microorganisms are those organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye and include things like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Asali
yes
Dhirender
not 'things'...'organisms' like bacterias, viruses and fungi
Sinmi
simi, it's not bacterias but bacteria which is the plural form of the word while bacterium is the singular of it
Richard
bacterium is obvio in a singular form but plural of bacterium is bacterias
Sinmi
Richard is right it's bacterium which is the singular form and plural is bacteria. *Bacterias* doesn't exist.
Aakriti
what is microbiology?
Sandeep Reply
what is microbiology
Glory
is the study of small microorganisms that can't be viewed by our naked eyes under a microscope
Nabukwasi
it's the study of microbes their classification, diversity, their cellular structure and processes, their applications and interaction with other organisms.
Chaitanya
what is EMP pathway
rajesh
which organism is implicated in meningoencephalitis
Peter Reply
Herpes virus
Carlos
Yeah
Laxmi
which mold is called dairy mold?
Gopinath
mushroomm
Top
Geotrichum candidum
Gopinath
hi
bio
Hlw
Laxmi
which infectious agent is the smallest
Sinmi
spore or virus
Anushree
prion ....it is a single protein in a misfolded form..there is also a theory based on it
Sinmi
yup...m sry
Anushree
yes it can be turned as a virus
Sinmi
which gram positive bacteria is responsible for food poisoning?
Sinmi
prion is not a living organism yet it is infectoois why
Jeevan
prions are virus like organism. and it is a misfolded protein that may cause disease to us.
Tharra
Clostridium perfringens, B.cereus
Sneha
Who is the father of the biology
Dhirender
I have one more question. . that who is the father of botany and medicine? ? can any one tell
Dhirender
define polar bond in simple way
Rashmi Reply
when there is formation of positive and negative poles i.e. one atom is +ve and other is -ve which further results in the dipole moment. Such bond is know as polar bond. It is a convalent bond only.
Aakriti
Hi everyone, is these site only about microbiology? I want a site which I can download articles on hematological and biochemical profile
Peter Reply
I think it is only about micro biology.
Kimberly
so whats happening
Michael
I am about to enter school and am going for MCB
Olugbenga Reply
What is DNA damage and repair
Sree Reply
removal of nucleotide bases from DNA is damage n addition or insertion of bases in DNA is repair.
Rashmi
replication is a term related to generation of new DNA from a parental DNA.
Rashmi
role of microorganism as pathogens
Parteek Reply
to live inside the host body, reproduction n destroy the immune system of host body.
Rashmi
what is replication
rajesh
please give me ans
rajesh
replication is a term related to generation of new DNA from parental DNA.
Rashmi
difference between endotoxin and exotoxin
Binkheir Reply
toxins released inside the cell or a body is endotoxin n toxins released outside the cell or a body is exotoxin.
Rashmi
Generally, exotoxins are produced by gram positive bacteria and endotoxins are the integral part of the cell wall of gram negative bacteria. But some gram negative bacteria can also produced exotoxins such as E.coli.
Aakriti
Yeah u r ryt aakarti exotoxins screted by gram postive bacteria nd secreted by cell surface and they are secondary metabolites ....On the other hand endotoxin released by gram negtive bacteria nd released inside the cell (lipopolysaccharide) ..
Bharat
Heat stable lipopolysaccharides to be exact.
Aakriti
yup..
Bharat
please I want the names of bacteria and the diseases they cause.
Ibrahim Reply
there are many we classify it according to their shapes gram negative or gram positive
Tharra
so u may refer the book u guess or by when u want I can do a list for you and send u here
Tharra
😊
Tharra
please do a list for me
Ibrahim
I have the lost but it's too much to type ..
Tharra
MSc entrance prepare books and questions LA etha base pani irukum..
Guhan Reply
kushal always prescott is the imp book to follow.search some objective mcqs books based on your syllabus
deepthi Reply
I want to clear entrance of ms university so I have no more idea so my preparation is based on my bachlor studies.
Kushal
what are the opportunistic infection in aids stage
Kalkak
certain cancer or pneumonia 🤔
Kushal
penicillium crysogenum
Kushal Reply

Get the best Microbiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask