antimicrobial therapy

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an·ti·mi·cro·bi·al ther·a·py

(antē-mī-krōbē-ăl thāră-pē)
Use of specific chemical or pharmaceutical agents to control or destroy microorganisms, either systemically or at specific sites.


1. killing microorganisms, or suppressing their multiplication or growth.
2. an agent that kills microorganisms or suppresses their multiplication or growth.
Antimicrobial agents are classified functionally according to the manner in which they adversely affect a microorganism. Some interfere with the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. This results in cell lysis because the contents of the bacterial cell are hypertonic and therefore under high osmotic pressure. A weakening of the cell wall causes the cell to rupture, spill its contents, and be destroyed. The penicillins, cephalosporins and bacitracin are examples of this group of antimicrobials.
A second group of antimicrobial agents interfere with the synthesis of nucleic acids. Without DNA and RNA synthesis a microorganism cannot replicate or translate genetic information. Examples of antimicrobials that exert this kind of action are griseofulvin, fluoroquinolones and rifampicin.
A third group of antimicrobial agents change the permeability of the cell membrane, causing a leakage of metabolic substrates essential to the life of the microorganism. Their action can be either bacteriostatic or bactericidal. Examples include amphotericin B and polymyxin B.
A fourth group of antimicrobial agents interfere with metabolic processes within the microorganism. They are structurally similar to natural metabolic substrates, but since they do not function normally, they interrupt metabolic processes. Most of these agents are bacteriostatic. Examples include the sulfonamides, aminosalicylic acid (PAS) and isoniazid (INH).
A fifth group interfere with translation of proteins by the ribosome. This action may be bacteriocidal, if errors in translation are induced (aminoglycosides) or bacteriostatic, if translation is inhibited (macrolides, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol).

antimicrobial resistance
ability of a microorganism to resist the effects of an antimicrobial agent. May be an intrinsic characteristic or acquired by selection for mutation or by acquisition of a resistance gene from other microorganisms.
antimicrobial sensitivity test
an in vitro test of the effectiveness of selected antibacterial agents against bacteria recovered from a patient. Paper disks impregnated with various agents are placed on an inoculated agar plate (disk diffusion) or the agent is added to broth cultures. Inhibition of growth is interpreted as an indication of bacterial sensitivity to the antibacterial.
subtherapeutic antimicrobial therapy
used mainly in mass medication programs as preventive measures against unspecified infectious diseases. Carries the risks of creating resistant strains of organisms, and of resulting in unacceptable residues in human food.
antimicrobial therapy
antimicrobial agents may be administered topically, orally, or injected. There are special needs for special circumstances. Aquarial fish, for example, may be treated by incorporating the agent in the feed or by injection. Immersing the fish in a tank containing a solution of the agent is satisfactory only for superficial infections because the drug is not absorbed directly through the skin and the intake is very slow.
References in periodicals archive ?
Use of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy for transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy prophylaxis in the setting of community-associated multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli rectal colonization.
20] If both the CSF and blood cultures taken prior to initiation of antimicrobials are negative, antimicrobial therapy may be discontinued after 48-72 hours.
A properly interpreted LAT can be used as a simple, rapid procedure suitable to be used as an adjunct laboratory test in patients pre-treated with antimicrobial therapy and whose Gram stain and CSF culture are negative.
Following this model, a prescribed antimicrobial therapy is considered valid unless it violates specified contraindications.
Data Source: Retrospective, multicenter observational study of 203 patients with serious infections requiring long-term outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy in an infectious disease physician office infusion center.
However, uncontrolled clinical studies suggest that some clinical benefit can be obtained with antimicrobial therapy in antimicrobial naive early onset prostatitis patients (4:D).
Developments in outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) for Gram-positive infections in Europe, and the potential impact of daptomycin.
On the other hand, infections such as endocarditis, osteitis, and septic arthritis, to name a few, still require extended duration of antimicrobial therapy.
Effectiveness of combination antimicrobial therapy for Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia.
His antimicrobial therapy was then arranged as meropenem and amikacin Repeated blood cultures on 10th and 13th postoperative days (first and third day of meropenem and amicasin therapy) also revealed P.
pylori eradication rate in patients receiving conventional antimicrobial therapy.
2 Which of the following can be used to direct supplemental antimicrobial therapy for patients infected with CA-MRSA?

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