Anaerobic Infection

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

Anaerobic infection

An infection caused by anaerobic bacteria (organisms that are intolerant of oxygen). Most such infections are mixed, involving more than one anaerobe and often aerobic or facultative bacteria as well. Anaerobes are prevalent throughout the body as indigenous flora, and virtually all anaerobic infections arise endogenously, the principal exception being Clostridium difficile colitis. Factors predisposing to anaerobic infection include those disrupting mucosal or other surfaces (trauma, surgery, and malignancy or other disease), those lowering redox potential (impaired blood supply, tissue necrosis, and growth of nonanaerobic bacteria), drugs inactive against anaerobes (such as aminoglycosides), and virulence factors produced by the anaerobes (toxins, capsules, and collagenase, hyaluronidase, and other enzymes). Anaerobic gram-negative bacilli (Bacteroides, Prevotella, Porphyromonas, Fusobacterium) and anaerobic gram-positive cocci (Peptostreptococcus) are the most common anaerobic pathogens. Clostridium (spore formers) may cause serious infection. The prime pathogen among gram-positive nonsporulating anaerobic bacilli is Actinomyces. Of the infections commonly involving anaerobes, the oral and dental pleuropulmonary, intraabdominal, obstetric-gynecologic, and skin and soft tissue infections are most important in terms of frequency of occurrence. To document anaerobic infection properly, specimens for culture must be obtained so as to exclude normal flora and must be transported under anaerobic conditions. Therapy includes surgery and antimicrobial agents. See Antibiotic, Infection

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Anaerobic Infection


a group of severe diseases caused by pathogenic anaerobes. More often the term “anaerobic infection” is used to indicate gas gangrene. Anaerobes also cause tetanus, botulism, and other diseases.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Diagnosis of anaerobic infections is still dependant to a large extent on conventional cultural methods which are time consuming and rather expensive.
For longer courses needed for amoebiasis, anaerobic infections, metronidazole therapy is much cost-effective.
Metronidazole is still the drug of choice for treatment of anaerobic infections. Clin Infect Dis.
Bacteriological cure rate following intrauterine treatment with Ciprofloxacin and Tinidazole combination was found to be very effective in eliminating both aerobic and anaerobic infections (Dhillon et al., 2005).
Anaerobic infections are usually polymicrobial, and Bacteroides fragilis is commonly isolated in such infections.
These results indicate a need for changes with regard to empirical therapy of anaerobic infections. Table.
In children, it also is used to treat anaerobic infections (usually in the abdomen), Clostridium difficile diarrheal infections, and some parasitic infections.
Isolates (four per wound culture, on average) revealed mixed aerobic and anaerobic infections in 54% of wounds, aerobe-only infection in 44%, and anaerobe-only infection in 2%.
The company has two anti-infective programs, ATI-1501, a taste-masked treatment for anaerobic infections, and ATI-1503, a novel antibiotic with broad potential to treat deadly Gram-negative infections, in its pipeline.
Currently recommended treatment regimens for neutropenic fever do not include treatment for anaerobic infections. Some institutions have altered treatment regimens to include antimicrobial drugs, such as meropenem, because of increases in anaerobic bacteremias (3,9).