Disease incidence is typically the result of pathogen intrusion with the body mounting defense that could present as fevers and chills. It is notable that there are different types of pathogens that could cause microbial diseases to include virus, fungi, parasite and bacteria. To counter these diseases, antimicrobial agents have been presented (Langdon & Breathnach, 2016). The present paper offers an understanding of how to treat microbial diseases with the focus being on antimicrobial agents Antimicrobial Agents Sample Discussion.
Describe the categories of antimicrobial agents.
Antimicrobial agents refers to chemical compounds used to prevent microorganism pathogenesis, whether caused by a virus, fungi, parasite, bacteria or any other microorganism. The most common classification of antimicrobial agents is on the basis of targeted microorganisms. The first category is anti-parasitic compounds that prevent the growth and proliferation of pathogenic parasites such as anthelmintics. The second category is anti-viral compounds that halt or slow down the pathogenic activity of viruses such as tamiflu. The third category is anti-fungal agents that halt or prevent fungal activity such as miconazole. The final category is anti-bacterial agents that inhibit the pathogenic activity of bacteria such as zithromax (Langdon & Breathnach, 2016). Other than classification on the basis of targeted microorganisms, classification can be based on the mode of action that identifies five categories. The first category is agents that inhibit cell wall synthesis to include poly-peptides (such as vancomycin and bacitracin) and beta-lactems (such as imipenem, aztreonam, cephalosporins, and penicillins). The second category is agents that inhibit protein synthesis to include clindamycin, chloramphenicol, macrolides, tetracyclins, and aminoglycosides. The third category is agents that inhibit the activity of essential metabolites (folates) such as trimethoprim and sulfonamide. The fourth category is agents that injure the plasma membrane to include miconazole, amphotericin B, mystatin and polymyxin B. The final category is agents that inhibit the transcription and replication of nucleic acids to include rifampin and quinolones (Weston, Burgess & Roberts, 2017).
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Describe differences between viral and bacterial infections.
Perhaps the most basic difference between viral and bacterial infections is the cause. Bacterial infection is caused by bacteria while viral infection is caused by viruses. A more in depth analysis of the difference between the two reveals that bacteria are micro-organisms that present as single-celled entities that can thrive in a wide array of environmental conditions to include extreme cold, extreme heat and the range of conditions between the two extremes. Examples of bacterial infections include urinary tract infections, strep throat and tuberculosis. Diagnosis occurs through bacterial cultures. Treatment of bacterial infection entails the use of antibiotics (Coico & Sunshine, 2015; Copstead-Kirkhorn & Banasik, 2015). On the other hand, viruses are microscopic organisms that are smaller than bacteria and lack features that are common in cells such as a cell wall or membrane. A typical virus has a small genome of approximately 20 kb with about 10 genes that code for glycoprotein virion envelope, nucleoprotein, non-structural proteins, matrix protein and viral polymerase. Unlike bacteria, virus are inert when outside a living host and only become active when inside the host. Once a virus gains entry into the body, it invades the cells and redirects their activities to reproduce viruses. Some of the conditions causes by viruses include common colds, AIDS, and chickenpox. Diagnosis for viral infection occurs through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), antigen tests, virus isolation, and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (Coico & Sunshine, 2015; Copstead-Kirkhorn & Banasik, 2015) Antimicrobial Agents Sample Discussion.
Explain why proper identification of viral and bacterial infections is key to selecting the proper antimicrobial agent.
Proper identification of the causative agent of a microbial infection is important for two reasons. Firstly, it helps in identifying the correct antimicrobial agent that would facilitate treatment efforts. If a virus is the cause of the infection then anti-viral agent would be required but if a bacteria is the cause of the infection then an anti-bacterial agent would be required. Secondly, it helps in preempting drug resistance whereby the body or infection agent interacts with the drug through evolutionary processes that render the drug ineffective. Finally, it helps in determining the required dosage to effectively clear the infection from the body (Elschner et al., 2012).
One must accept that antimicrobial agents are intended to target microbial infections with each agent targeted at a particular pathogen. In addition, one must acknowledge that there are four types of antimicrobial agents to include anti-parasitic compounds that target parasites, anti-viral compounds that target viruses, anti-fungal agents that target fungi, and anti-bacterial agents that target bacteria. The paper further notes that each microbial infection is unique based on the causative agent and that the treatment should target the properly identified causative agent to preempt drug resistance and facilitate treatment efforts.
Coico, R. & Sunshine, G. (2015). Immunology: a short course (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell.
Copstead-Kirkhorn, L. & Banasik, J. (2014). Pathophysiology (5th ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Elschner, M., Cutler, S., Weidmann, M. & Butaye, P. (2012). BSL3 and BSL4 agents: epidemiology, microbiology and practical guidelines. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley- Blackwell.
Langdon, B. & Breathnach, A. (2016). Learning microbiology through clinical consultation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Weston, D., Burgess, A. & Roberts, S. (2017). Infection prevention and control at a glance. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley- Blackwell Antimicrobial Agents Sample Discussion.
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