Antimicrobial Agents Research Essay

Introduction

Antimicrobial agents are the chemicals, medications, or other substances that are used to kill, inhibit or slow microbial growth. Antimicrobial agents are used to prevent, treat, and control bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases (Arcangelo et al, 2017).Antimicrobial Agents Research Essay

Categories of Antimicrobial Agents

Antimicrobial agents are categorized into biostatic meaning agents that inhibit microbial growth, and micro-biocidal which are agents that kill microbes. Specifically, categories of antimicrobial agents include; antibiotics, semi-synthetic, and synthetics (Arcangelo et al, 2017). Antibiotics are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections using one microbe to counter another microbe. Antibiotics act by inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria or killing the bacteria. In addition, some antibiotics are used to inhibit some types of protozoans and fungi, although antibiotics are not effective against viruses. An example of antibiotic is penicillin. On the other hand, synthetic antimicrobial agents are the medications that are chemically manufactured for instance anti-viral, anti-malaria, anti-fungi etc. They act against the specific microorganism. Finally, semi-synthetic antimicrobial agents refer to antibiotics that have been modified chemically and mostly are the most commonly used anti-microbial agents (Arcangelo et al, 2017). Examples of semi-synthetic antimicrobial agents are amoxicillin and methicillin.

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Classes of Antibiotics

Fluoroquinolones: These antimicrobials act by inhibiting synthesis of bacterial DNA. Fluoroquinolones are bacteriostatic agents and hence they inhibit replication of bacterial but do not kill the organism (Leekha et al, 2011).
Macrolides: These act by inhibiting synthesis of protein in bacteria. Macrolides target 50S subunit to inhibit protein synthesis. are bacteriostatic agents and hence they inhibit replication of bacteria but do not kill the organism (Leekha et al, 2011).Antimicrobial Agents Research Essay
Cephalosporins: These antimicrobials act through inhibition of the synthesis of peptidoglycan layer of bacterial cell walls (Thong, 2010).
Aminoglycosides: These antibiotics act by inhibiting protein synthesis. Aminoglycosides interrupt the proofreading process. Aminoglycosides belong to the bactericidal class (King et al, 2000).
Differences between Viral and Bacterial Infections

Generally, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria while viral infections are caused by viruses. Bacteria refer to the living microbes whose reproduction occurs through cell-division (Arcangelo et al, 2017). Majority of bacteria are able to grow on non-living surfaces like chair or tables. However, majority of bacteria are not harmful and some are actually helpful to the body. Additionally, some bacterial infections are contagious such as tuberculosis while others are not contagious for example urinary tract infections (Arcangelo et al, 2017). On the other hand, viruses are not “living” organisms but are capsules containing genetic material. Viruses cannot survive on non-living surfaces are need a living host for multiplication and survival. When a virus gains entry to the body, the virus penetrates specific cells and starts producing new viruses. Finally, the virus can end up killing the host cells. Some viral infections like HIV and influenza are contagious while other viral infections are not contagious (Krummenacher et al, 2011).

Proper Identification of Viral and Bacterial Infections Key to Selecting the Proper Antimicrobial Agent

Proper identification of viral and bacterial infections is very important during selection of appropriate antimicrobial agent in order to avoid microorganisms that cause the infections becoming resistant to the antimicrobial agents/drugs (Arcangelo et al, 2017). Most of the microbes that cause viral and bacterial infections keep on evolving and most have become resistant to many antimicrobial agents. Apart from causing resistance to microbial agents, failure to properly identify microorganisms causing viral or bacterial infections results to failure of the treatment of the infections which leads to further multiplication of the microorganisms further worsening the disease (Krummenacher et al, 2011).

Basically, proper distinction of viral and bacterial infections is critical because each antimicrobial agent targets a specific kind of microorganism. Therefore, antibacterial antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections while some antiviral antibiotics are used in the treatment of some viral infections, but most of the viral infections clear on their own. Antimicrobial Agents Research Essay

References

Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Krummenacher, I., Cavassini, M., Bugnon, O., & Schneider, M. (2011). An interdisciplinary HIV-adherence program combining motivational interviewing and electronic antiretroviral drug monitoring. AIDS Care. 23(5), 550–561.

King DE, Malone R & Lilley SH. (2000). New Classification and Update on the Quinolone Antibiotics. Am Fam Physician. 61(9):2741-2748.

Leekha S, Terrell C & Edson R. (2011). General Principles of Antimicrobial Therapy. Mayo Clin Proc. 86(2): 156–167.

Thong B. (2010). Update on the Management of Antibiotic Allergy. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2(2): 77–86.

Antimicrobial Agents Research Essay

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