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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.

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

The genus Pseudomonas consists of a number of human pathogens, the most important of which is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen found widely in soil, water, and organic material, reflecting its limited nutritional requirements. A moist environment is favored. Human colonization in the community is rare, and, when it occurs, the skin, gut, and upper or lower airway are colonized.

Other Pseudomonas Species of Medical Importance

This organism is endemic in Southeast Asia with the highest prevalence in Thailand. The organism is a saprophyte living in the soil. Infection may be subclinical, acute, subacute, or chronic.

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.

Penicillins: Organs and Systems: Hematologic

Since the days when chloramphenicol was more commonly used, it has been recognized that many antimicrobial drug are associated with severe blood dyscrasias, such as aplastic anemia, neutropenia, agranulocytosis, throm-bocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia. Information on this association has come predominantly from case series and hospital surveys (38^. Some evidence can be extracted from population-based studies that have focused on aplastic anemia and agranulocytosis and their association with many drugs, including antimicrobial drugs. The incidence rates of blood dyscrasias in the general population have been estimated in a cohort study with a nested case-control analysis, using data from a General Practice Research Database in Spain.

Order Zithromax Online No Prescription 250/500mg

Torsade de pointes and cardiorespiratory arrest have been reported in a patient with congenital long QT syndrome who took azithromycin. In a prospective study of 47 previously healthy people, there was a modest statistically insignificant prolongation of the QTC interval without clinical consequences after the end of a course of azithromycin 3 g/day for 5 days. Azithromycin can cause ototoxicity. In one study, 8 (17%) of 46 HIV-positive patients had probable (n = 6) or possible (n = 2) ototoxicity with azithromycin.


Bacterial meningitis remains one of the most feared and dangerous infectious diseases that a physician can encounter. This form of meningitis constitutes a true infectious disease emergency. It is important that the physician quickly make the appropriate diagnosis and initiate antibiotic therapy.

Specific Causes Of Acute Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Great overlap occurs among the clinical manifestations of the pathogens associated with acute community-acquired pneumonia. However, constellations of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings serve to narrow the possibilities. By developing an ability to focus on a few pathogens or to identify a specific pathogen, clinicians can better predict the clinical course of pneumonia and can narrow antibiotic coverage. Pathogenic strains of S. pneumoniae have a thick capsule that prevents PMN binding and that blocks phagocytosis.

Anti-Infective Agent Dosing

The characteristics that need to be considered when administering antibiotics include absorption (when dealing with oral antibiotics), volume of distribution, metabolism, and excretion. These factors determine the dose of each drug and the time interval of administration. To effectively clear a bacterial infection, serum levels of the antibiotic need to be maintained above the minimum inhibitory concentration for a significant period. For each pathogen, the minimum inhibitory concentration is determined by serially diluting the antibiotic into liquid medium containing 104 bacteria per millihter.

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.