Antimicrobial agents are essential constituents for use in the therapy of numerous bacteria-caused infections. They aid to destroy or prevent the multiplication of microbes such as fungi, bacteria, and protozoans. Before the invention of antimicrobial medicines, not many alternatives for the management of patients suffering from bacterial diseases were available. Therapy for several patients, frequently leads to amputation of the affected limbs and in worse cases death. Currently, treatment alternatives for the bacterial infections usually have the additional helpful prognosis.
There are many kinds of infections seen in patients. Therefore, it is crucial to be capable of recognizing the underlying causes of the diseases. The reason could be due to bacteria or virus. Identifying the cause will assist in recommending the appropriate drug therapy. Determining the cause will also help determine whether an antimicrobial medication could be suitable and which particular agent would focus on the infection. In this paper, we discuss the categories of antimicrobial agents, the differences between viral and bacterial infections and the suitable use of anti-microbial medications for (Ryan et al., 2014).
Categories of antimicrobial agents
There are various types of antimicrobial medications that are ordinarily accessible (Schmidt et al., 2014). They include:
- Antibacterial drugs: also referred to as antibiotics. These are the frequently used medicines to prevent the pathogenic action of bacteria, fungi, and parasites. They act by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria. An example of such as a drug is Zithromax, amoxicillin.
- Anti-fungi drugs: These are pharmaceutical fungicides that are used to remedy and stop the action of fungi inside the host’s body. They prevent athletes feet, candidiasis as well as ringworm.
- Anti-parasitic drugs: they are used to treat and inhibit the growth of disease-causing parasites. Examples of these parasites include amoeba, protozoa, and helminths among many others. Parasites cause diseases such as malaria.
- Anti-viral medications: they are used to treat and inhibit the pathogenic activity of viruses. Specific antiviral drugs treat particular infections. Example of such medicines includes zanamivir and peramivir.
The Differences between viral and bacterial infections.
Bacterial and viral illnesses cause similar symptoms which include coughing, fatigue, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and inflammation. However, according to Oved (2015), bacteria and virus caused infections have differences in many ways. The first difference is that bacterial diseases are caused by bacteria while viral is caused by viruses. Most bacteria are not harmful and live in the intestines to help in digestion, but there are exceptions. Viruses invade body cells and take over their system causing them generate the virus. The second difference is the type of diseases caused by both the bacteria and virus. Bacterial illnesses include tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, and strep among others. Viral diseases include AIDS, common colds, herpes and chickenpox among others. Thirdly, bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics while viral infections using anti-viral medicines or vaccines to prevent them.
Key to selecting the proper antimicrobial agent.
The proper identification of viral and bacterial diseases is essential in choosing the appropriate antimicrobial medication. Diagnosis of infection is done by establishing the site of infection and describing the host (example elderly, immunocompromised), and identifying the specific organism causing the disease. Knowing the site of infection is important because some medicines work best when they reach the area of infection in sufficient concentrations. When the specific organism causing the disease is identified, the appropriate antimicrobial with particular actions against the pathogen is chosen. Describing the history of the host is useful in determining the likely cause of the pathogen which is useful determining the best antimicrobial therapy. The severity of the infection and response of the pathogen to medicines is also a factor in deciding antimicrobial treatment (Arcangelo et al., 2017).
Anti-microbial agents are widely used beneficial remedies. Recognising the significance of microbial therapy is crucial. It’s essential also to recognize when to consult a doctor for assistance and also to identify circumstances when antimicrobial treatment is not necessary.
Arcangelo, V.P., Peterson, A.M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J.A. (2017). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practice approach (4th Ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.
Oved, K., Cohen, A., Boico, O., Navan, R., Friedman, T., Etshtein, L., & Wolchinsky, R. (2015) A novel host-proteome signature for distinguishing between acute bacterial and viral infections.
Ryan, K. J., & Ray, C.G. (2014) Sherris medical microbiology. McGraw-Hill Education/ Medical.
Schmidt, S.V., & Schultze, J.L. (2014). New insights into IDO biology in bacterial and viral infections. Frontiers in immunology, 5, 384.