Essay Example on Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrobial therapy began in 1929

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Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrobial therapy began in 1929 with Fleming's discovery of penicillin and evolved in 1935 with Domagk s discovery of synthetic chemicals sulfonamides with broad antimicrobial action Sanghvi 2014 In the 1940 s during World War II penicillin was adapted for use in humans and the age of antibiotic chemotherapy was introduced Sanghvi 2014 Researchers then began to search for similar antimicrobial agents that might help in the treatment of infectious disease By the 1950 s several antibiotics such as streptomycin chloramphenicol and tetracycline were being used in the clinical setting Sanghvi 2014 The purpose of this paper is to explore how antimicrobial agents are categorized the differences between viral and bacterial infections and why proper identification of viral and bacterial infections can be the key to selecting the proper antimicrobial agent for treatment Categories of Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrobial agents are used to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth Antimicrobial medicines can be categorized according to the microorganism they fight against 



The use of antimicrobial medicines to treat infections is known as antimicrobial chemotherapy There four forms of antimicrobial chemotherapy are as follows Leekha Terrell Edson 2011 Antibacterial chemotherapy antibiotics used to fight bacterial infections such as bacterial pneumonia Antifungal chemotherapy fungicides used to fight fungal infections such as yeast infections Antiviral chemotherapy antivirals used to fight against viral infections such as herpes Antiparasitic chemotherapy antiparasitic agents used to fight against parasites that cause diseases like malaria Differences Between Viral and Bacterial Infections Bacterial and viral infections are caused by microbes Both can be spread from someone coughing or sneezing from contact with infected surfaces and contact with infected people or creatures Yet bacterial and viral infection are very different in how they affect the body and choices for treatment Bacteria is a single celled organism that lives on its own within or on living things Leekha Terrell Edson 2011 There are beneficial and detrimental bacteria to the body Unwanted bacteria divide and spread in the body on their own causing infection Bacteria come in four shapes that help determine how they are named bacilli cocci spirochetes and vibrio Korba Aldhamen Winn 2018 Bacteria are either gram positive or gram negative Korba Aldhamen Winn 2018 Examples of bacterial infections are sore throat from Streptococcus urinary tract infection UTI from E Coli and eye infections from Bacillus Cereus Viruses are microscopic somewhat living things that are smaller than bacteria and do not have cells The four main types of viruses are icosahedral helical enveloped and complex Sanghvi 2014 They can only be sustained within a living host such as a person plant or bacteria For a virus to survive and multiply it must settle inside a host Viral cells adhere to healthy cells within your body and change their DNA message having them make more of the virus Sanghvi 2014 Examples of viral infections are chickenpox flu herpes and HIV Proper Identification and Selection

It is important to know the difference between a bacterial or viral infection because of the increasing antibiotic resistant bacteria due to over prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral infections A key difference between viral and bacterial infections is that bacterial infections increase neutrophil and eosinophil counts while a virus increases lymphocyte count Alvarez Uslan Malloy Sinsheimer Godwin 2016 A bacterial infection can only be cleared up with prescribed antibiotics while the incident of a virus can be reduced by vaccines antiviral medications can help ease the symptoms of a viral infection but it's up to the body s immune system to be strong enough to fight off the cause of a viral infection The body is usually able to fight off an unwanted virus with the appropriate support Antiviral medications inhibit the growth of a virus while antibiotics target and destroy specific bacteria leaving other bacteria alone Alvarez et al 2016 Antibiotics are of no help against a virus Antibiotics can kill most bacteria except those bacteria that have become antibiotic resistant When antibiotics are used inappropriately prescribed for a viral infection instead of a bacterial infection this can help create bacterial diseases that are resistant to treatment Korba Aldhamen Winn 2018 Therefore it is important to properly identify the difference between a viral and bacterial infection so the appropriate health plan can be initiated It is just as important to choose the appropriate antibiotic agent for the bacterial infection being treated This involves determining the correct shape of the bacteria and whether it is gram positive or gram negative Obtaining an accurate diagnosis determining the need for and the timing of antibiotic therapy understanding how dosing affects bacteria activity of different agents tailoring treatment to a patient's specific health issues using the narrowest spectrum and shortest duration of therapy will insure proper selection of an antibiotic agent Alvarez et al 2016 p 230 Summary Antimicrobial agents are divided into several categories Knowing and understanding the difference will ensure a practitioner prescribes the appropriate medication or medical support to a patient for the best positive outcomes Bacterial and viral infections can be similar in their initial symptoms but it is important to properly identify the infection to provide make a suitable health plan Bacterial infections can only be cured by prescribed antibiotics while viral infections can only be supported by antivirals and in some incidences reduced by vaccines


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