Antimicrobial agents

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Antimicrobial agents

Chemical compounds biosynthetically or synthetically produced which either destroy or usefully suppress the growth or metabolism of a variety of microscopic or submicroscopic forms of life. On the basis of their primary activity, they are more specifically called antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiparasitic, or antiviral agents. Antibacterials which destroy are bactericides or germicides; those which merely suppress growth are bacteriostatic agents. See Antibiotic

Of the thousands of antimicrobial agents, only a small number are safe chemotherapeutic agents, effective in controlling infectious diseases in plants, animals, and humans. A much larger number are used in almost every phase of human activity: in agriculture, food preservation, and water, skin, and air disinfection. A compilation of some common uses for antimicrobials is shown in the table.

Common antimicrobial agents and their uses
Use Agents
(animals and humans)
Antibacterials Sulfonamides, isoniazid,
p-aminosalicylic acid, penicillin,
streptomycin, tetracyclines,
chloramphenicol, erythromycin,
novobiocin, neomycin, bacitracin,
Antiparasitics (humans) Emetine, quinine
Antiparasitics (animal) Hygromycin, phenothiazine, piperazine
Antifungals Griseofulvin, nystatin
Chemotherapeutics (plants) Captan (N-trichlorothio-
tetrahydrophthalimide), maneb
(manganese ethylene
bisdithiocarbamate), thiram
(tetramethylthiuram disulfide)
Skin disinfectants Alcohols, iodine, mercurials, silver
compounds, quaternary
ammonium compounds, neomycin
Water disinfectants Chlorine, sodium hypochlorite
Air disinfectants Propylene glycol, lactic acid,
glycolic acid, levulinic acid
Gaseous disinfectants Ethylene oxide, β-propiolactone,
Clothing disinfectants Neomycin
Animal-growth stimulants Penicillin, streptomycin, bacitracin,
tetracyclines, hygromycin
Food preservatives Sodium benzoate, tetracycline

The most important antimicrobial discovery of all time, that of the chemotherapeutic value of penicillin, was made in 1938. In the next 20 years, more than a score of new and useful microbially produced antimicrobials entered into daily use. New synthetic antimicrobials are found today by synthesis of a wide variety of compounds, followed by broad screening against many microorganisms. Biosynthetic antimicrobials, although first found in bacteria, fungi, and plants, are now being discovered primarily in actinomycetes.

Antimicrobial agents contain various functional groups. No particular structural type seems to favor antimicrobial activity. The search for correlation of structure with biological activity goes on, but no rules have yet appeared with which to forecast activity from contemplated structural changes. On the contrary, minor modifications may lead to unexpected loss of activity.

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The use of antimicrobial agents such as antibiotic should be carefully inspected and studied before applying on animals and plants.
Nanoparticles, namely layered double hydroxide (LDH), would serve as active molecule delivery vehicles that carry the antimicrobial agents. This antimicrobial-nanoparticle system then would be incorporated into a bio-based polymer.
If bacteria in the slurry that contained ant solution grew less than the control group, which meant that an antimicrobial agent was at work.
According to Scientists still we need to discover hundreds of antimicrobial agents. This study was designed to screen for natural antibiotics and new templates for synthetic antibiotics from bacteria.
Cerniglia et al., "Workshop report: the 2012 antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine: exploring the consequences of antimicrobial drug use: a 3-D approach," Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol.
It was also revealed that 96.9% of CSO samples exhibited resistance, with 54.7% being resistant to three or more different antimicrobial agents. With respect to NPS samples, only 43.8% exhibited resistance and 3.1% were resistant to three or more different antimicrobial agents (Table 1).
This translated into a total of 287 antimicrobial agents prescribed, with an average of 2.5 + 1.1 antimicrobial agents per patient.
Antimicrobial agents used prior to development of VAP caused by ACB are depicted in Table-II.
Several studies have been conducted using phytochemicals combined with antimicrobial agents. These interactions can enhance the efficacy of the antimicrobial agents and are an alternative to treat infections caused by multi-drug resistant microorganisms, especially MRSA strains for which an effective therapy is limited and expensive (Lee et al.
The Guide was presented at the OIE Global Conference on the Responsible and Prudent Use of Antimicrobial Agents for Animals, an important opportunity to disseminate the Guide's key messages.
Antimicrobial agents are naturally occurring, semi-synthetic and synthetic compounds with antimicrobial activity that are used in human and veterinary medicine to prevent and treat infections and for growth promotion in food animals.
These interactions included angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics; ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (SMX/ TMP); benzodiazepines or zolpidem and other medications; calcium channel blockers and macrolide antibiotics; digoxin and macrolide antibiotics; lithium and loop diuretics or ACE inhibitors; phenytoin and SMX/TMP; sulfonylureas and antimicrobial agents; theophylline and ciprofloxacin; and warfarin and antimicrobial agents or non-steroidal antiinflammatory drags.

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