Tags: carbapenems

Important Anaerobes

Anaerobic bacteria are the predominant component of the normal microbial flora of the human body. The following sites harbor the vast majority of them:

Toxin-Mediated Infections

Tetanus is a disease of global incidence produced by the toxin of Clostridium tetani. The risk of acquiring it increases in people > 60 years of age and in neonates, especially in Third World countries where poor sanitary conditions predispose to umbilical stump contamination. Immunization campaigns have played a crucial role in bringing about the observed decreasing incidence in the United States. The pathogenesis of tetanus involves the absorption of preformed toxin, or, less commonly, invasion of toxin-producing organisms from contaminated wounds; it may complicate surgical wounds colonized with C tetani.

Infection in Patients With Aids

Paeruginosa infections may occur in patients with AIDS. Risk factors for infection include a CD4 count of < 100 cells/mL3, neutropenia or functional neutrophil defects, intravascular catheterization, hospitalization, and prior use of antibiotics including ciprofloxacin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Many cases are community acquired. Bacteremia is common, and the lung or an intravenous catheter is the most frequent portal of entry.

Other Bacillus Species

Bacillus species other than B anthracis are found in soil, decaying organic matter, and water, but they are rare causes of disease. Risk factors associated with Bacillus infection include the presence of intravascular catheters, intravenous drug use, sickle cell disease, and immunosuppression — particularly corticosteroid use, transplantation, AIDS, and neutropenia secondary to chemotherapy.


Enterococci are able to grow and survive under harsh conditions and can be found in soil, food, water, and a wide variety of animals. The major habitat of these organisms is the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other animals, where they make up a significant portion of the normal gut flora. Most enterococci isolated from human stools are E faecalis, although E faecium are also commonly found in the human gastrointestinal tract. Small numbers of enterococci are occasionally found in oropharyngeal and vaginal secretions and on the skin, especially in the perineal area.

Specific Anti-Infective Agents

Clinicians should be familiar with the general classes of antibiotics, their mechanisms of action, and their major toxicities. The differences between the specific antibiotics in each class can be subtle, often requiring the expertise of an infectious disease specialist to design the optimal anti-infective regimen. The general internist or physician-in-training should not attempt to memorize all the facts outlined here, but rather should read the pages that follow as an overview of anti-infectives. The chemistry, mechanisms of action, major toxicities, spectrum of activity, treatment indications, pharmacokinetics, dosing regimens, and cost are reviewed.

Urinary Tract Infections and Prostatitis

A urinary tract infection is defined as the presence of microorganisms in the urine that cannot be accounted for by contamination. The organisms have the potential to invade the tissues of the urinary tract and adjacent structures.

Infectious disorders

Infectious diseases comprise those illnesses that are caused by microorganisms or their products. Clinical manifestations of infection occur only when sufficient tissue injury has been inflicted directly by microbial products (e.g., endotoxins and exotoxins), or indirectly by host responses (e.g., cytokines and hydrolytic enzymes released by polymorphonuclear leukocytes). Despite the extraordinary recent advances that have occurred in therapeutics for infectious diseases, a number of basic principles should be followed to prescribe antimicrobials and vaccines is an optimal manner.

Antimicrobial therapy: general principles

A wide variety of antimicrobial agents is available to treat established infections caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. This section will cover the general principles of antimicrobial therapy and will also include illustrative clinical problems to emphasize proper decision-making in using antimicrobials.

Toxicity of Antimicrobial Therapy

The mechanisms associated with common adverse reactions to antimicrobials include dose-related toxicity that occurs in a certain fraction of patients when a critical plasma concentration or total dose is exceeded, and toxicity that is unpredictable and mediated through allergic or idiosyncratic mechanisms. For example, certain classes of drugs such as the aminoglycosides are associated with dose-related toxicity.