Antibiotic Sensitivity

Topics: Bacteria, Microbiology, Microorganism Pages: 4 (534 words) Published: April 15, 2015


Western Governor’s University

When antimicrobials are used to treat an infection, the antimicrobial used is based on selective toxicity. Selective toxicity is when the agent selected kills or inhibits the bacteria without causing serious harm to the host. The agent must interact with a function or structure of the microbe that is not present or is very different from the host. There are two different types of antimicrobial agents: antibiotics and antimicrobial chemicals. Antibiotics are substances that are produced as metabolic products of one microorganism, which inhibits or kill other microorganisms. Antimicrobial chemicals are chemicals that are synthesized in the laboratory, which can be used therapeutically on microorganisms.

If an antimicrobial is effective against a large variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, it is considered broad spectrum. Some examples of broad-spectrum antimicrobials include tetracycline, streptomycin, cephalosporins, ampicillin, and sulfonamides. Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are beneficial when the source of an infection is not yet known but it is critical to treat the infection immediately (Broad Spectrum Antibiotics, 1995-2010). However, indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials can lead to super infections (Alonzo, 2014, p. 190). When an antimicrobial is effective against just Gram-positive, just Gram-negative or only a few species of microbes it is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic. Some examples of common narrow-spectrum antimicrobials are penicillin G, clindamycin, and gentamicin. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are the preferred method of treatment due to them being less destructive to the body’s normal flora (Alonzo, 2014, p. 190). However, narrow-spectrum antimicrobial agents are not effective unless the source of the infection is known.

Antimicrobial resistance can emerge for a variety of reasons. Bacteria can become...

Cited: Alonzo, C. M. (2014). Experiement: Antibiotic Sensitivity. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from LabPaq:The Best Way to Learn Science:
Betsy, Tom, Keogh, James. (2005). Microbiology Demystified. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.
Broad Spectrum Antibiotics. (1995-2010). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from SRS Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd.:
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Antibiotic Sensitivity Lab Essay
  • Antibiotic Sensitivity Essay
  • Antibiotics 1 Essay
  • Control by Antibiotics and Antiseptics Lab Report Essay
  • Antibiotics Essay
  • Antibiotics Essay
  • Antibiotics Essay
  • Antibiotics Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free