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Antibiotic Classes and their spectrum of Activity
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Sources: Merck Manual drug monographs /Antibacterial drug section, BNF 2012, Mim's medical microbiology
Active only against Gm positive organisms. Must be given by injection.
Used mainly for treatment of beta lactam resistant bugs, esp. MRSA, and for C. difficile associated colitis
Narrow spectrum activity vs. Gm positive organisms. Many resistance issues
Basic treatment for simple infection
Used against penicillinase producing Gm. Positive organisms
Limited to Gm negative aerobic bacteria, such as P. aeruginosa. Negligible cross-sensitivity with penicillins.
Excellent activity against Gm positive cocci, commonly used for uncomplicated soft tissue infections
cross sensitivity with penicillins
Developed for some added Gm negative rod activity, as well as Gm positive cocci
Developed with increased Gm negative rod activity, including H. influenzae and some Enterobacteriaecae
Improved activity against Gm negative bacteria, and ESBL producing K. pneumoniae
Good for septicaemias of Gm negative aetiology. Good for empirical therapy in combination with beta lactam. Must be given i.v. or i.m
Bacteriostatic compounds which can inhibit intracellular bacteria. Widespread resistance. Treatment of choice for Chlamydia, Brucella and Rickettsia
Alternative to penicillins. Ineffective vs most enterococci, effective vs atypical bacteria e.g. Legionella, M. pneumoniae
Wide coverage and can achieve good concentrations in CSF, but use is now largely eliminated.
Usage eliminated due to toxic side effects including bone marrow suppression and widespread resistance.
Narrow spectrum indicated only for penicillin resistant Staphylococcus. Good for osteomyelitis as high bone availability.
Parenteral Abx with an extremely broad spectrum, antibiotic of last resort vs. multidrug resistant bacteria to minimise resistance development
Drugs of choice for UTIs with E. coli resistance to trimethoprim, sometimes used in empirical therapy due to anti P. aeruginosa activity
Active against all obligate anaerobic bacteria, and certain protozoans e.g. E. histolytica, G. lamblia,
Derived from macrolides, with improved activity against Respiratory pathogens
Usually used for anaerobic infections, similar activity erythromycin
Active vs. Strep, Staph, Enterococci, Mycobacterium, and some anaerobes. Used for MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. Should only be given for max. 28 days.
Active against common uropathogens, such as E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Staph. saprophyticus. used for treatment and prophylaxis of simple UTI
Primarily active against Gram negative organisms (but not Pseudomonas). Active against Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Often used in combination with sulfonamide for UTI treatment. Also used for Pneumocystis pneumonia.
Used in combination therapy for TB, atypical mycobacterium, and leprosy treatment
Resistance develops quickly, so should be used in combination
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