What are antibiotic and broad-spectrum antibiotics?


      The treatment of infectious diseases has turned to a new page since the advent of antibiotics. Thanks to antibiotics, millions of lives have been saved from extremely dangerous infections.

However, the effect of each antibiotic spectrum is different. So what are broad-spectrum antibiotics and what are narrow-spectrum antibiotics? Let’s find out in the article below right now!

* What is the antibiotic spectrum?

Antibiotics are antibacterial substances produced by strains of microorganisms or of synthetic origin. Antibiotics work by inhibiting the growth and development or killing other microorganisms.

* Antibiotics attack bacteria by the following routes:

– nhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis.
– Inhibits bacterial protein synthesis.
– Altered cell membrane permeability.
– Inhibits nucleic acid synthesis.

Due to the specific mechanism of each antibiotic, there are antibiotics that act on many strains of bacteria, both gram (-) and gram (+), but there are also those that act on only one or a few bacteria. certain strains of bacteria. This limit is called the antibacterial spectrum of the antibiotic.

Based on the spectrum of action of antibiotics, we can choose the right antibiotic for each type of infection.

* What are broad-spectrum antibiotics?

Broad-spectrum antibiotics are antibiotics that are active against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria or any antibiotic against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. For example: tetracyclines, phenicols, fluoroquinolones, 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins…

This class of broad-spectrum antibiotics is often used in cases of bacterial infections, but it is not clear which group of bacteria is causing it, or when more than one group of bacteria is suspected. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are used correctly in the following cases:

According to experience, in cases where the causative organism is not known, but if not treated in time, it can lead to a serious condition or lead to infection of other organs. For example, in the treatment of meningitis, the patient’s condition will become serious if not promptly treated with antibiotics.

For antibiotic-resistant bacteria that do not respond to narrow-spectrum antibiotics.

In the case of a viral infection, there are many types of bacteria that cause the disease. Therefore, it is necessary to treat with broad-spectrum antibiotics or a combination of antibiotics to enhance the bactericidal effect.

To prevent infection during and after surgery, immunosuppressed patients who are at high risk of infection are also prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics.

However, inappropriate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can also cause some undesirable effects. Because although broad-spectrum antibiotics can cover many types of pathogenic bacteria, they will affect the body’s resident bacteria.

Kills beneficial bacteria in the body, leading to some secondary infections such as Clostridium difficile, candidiasis.

Kills harmful bacteria in the intestines that can cause diarrhea…

In addition, after exposure to antibiotics, bacteria can develop structural or functional changes that make them resistant to antibiotics. The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics increases bacterial resistance.

Currently, due to the increasing trend of antibiotic resistance, more focus is on the use of antibiotics based on clinical evidence, rather than on empiric antibiotic use.

* What is a narrow spectrum antibiotic?

In addition to learning what broad-spectrum antibiotics are, you also need to know about narrow-spectrum antibiotics. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are antibiotics that have good antibacterial activity against certain strains of bacteria. For example, the natural antibiotic Penicillin is only effective against Gram (+) bacteria but not against Gram (-) bacteria or Isoniazid is only effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Narrow-spectrum antibiotics are usually used for specific infections only when the causative organism is known and definitely identified. The use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics will not kill as many resident bacteria in the body as broad-spectrum antibiotics. Therefore, narrow-spectrum antibiotics are less likely to cause secondary infections, and also less likely to cause resistance because they only kill a certain type of bacteria.

However, narrow-spectrum antibiotics can only be used if the causative organism is correctly identified. If you don’t choose your medication carefully, it may not kill the bacteria that cause the disease.

Above are some sharing about what broad-spectrum antibiotics are and what narrow-spectrum antibiotics are. Hope to help you get more useful information about these antibiotic spectrums!

Written by hoangphat

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