antimicrobial agents paper

antimicrobial agents paper

The treatment of pathogenic diseases caused by microbes using antimicrobial therapy is the most significant achievement that has been made in the field of medicine currently. The use of antimicrobial treatment has improved the quality of life and enhanced the longevity of the human population. This paper discusses the various categories of antimicrobial medications and their mechanism of action in the treatment of microbial diseases. It also explains the difference between the bacterial and viral infections and the positive consequences of proper identification of infections in the use of antimicrobial agents.

Categories of antimicrobial agents

Arcangelo et al. (2017) argue that antimicrobial agents have been categorized into six classes. The classification depends on the way they act on the microbes and the microbes that they affect, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Penicillins, carbapenems, and cephalosporins work on the bacteria by interfering with the way the cell wall is being synthesized. The inhibition of the synthesis of the cell of the bacteria gives the immune system a chance to fight against the weakened bacteria. Some agents act by inhibiting the integration of the nucleic acids of the bacteria, such as the DNA and the RNA (Steckelberg, 2017). Such medications include the fluoroquinolones and the tetracycline. By inhibiting the nucleic acid, the bacteria cannot replicate anymore; therefore destroying the bacteria such as ketolides, macrolides, and the aminoglycosides. The other class of antimicrobial agents works by inhibiting the synthesis of protein in the microbes. The protein synthesis process takes place within the ribosomes of the cell. The bacteria, therefore, cannot replicate, repair, nor rebuild its cells hence leading to the death of the microbe.

The other class of the antimicrobial agents acts by disrupting the integrity of the cell cytoplasm such as Amphotericin B. Amphotericin B binds with the ergosterol of the fungal membrane thus disrupting the cell membrane hence causing the lysis of the cell. The fifth class is the agents that are metabolic antagonists. The metabolic antagonists act by inhibiting the synthesis of folic acid, and they include sulfonamides and antiviral agents (Steckelberg, 2017). The agent blocks the active site of the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of dihydrofolic acid, which is a building block of the microbe.  The six class of the antimicrobial agents are those which blocks the recognition system of the microbes thus preventing the microbe from attaching to the host body system. When a microbe does not attach to the microbe, the pathogen will lack the source of energy and will die.

Bacterial and Viral Infections

It is very crucial for any medical provider to understand the mechanism that a pathogen applies when it enters into the human body. Disease-causing microorganism has to gain access to the human body for it to cause disease. According to (Steckelberg, 2017) bacteria enters the body through routes of entry such as breaks on the skins, wounds, through the respiratory system when they are inhaled, through the gastrointestinal system after ingestion of bacteria from food or drinking water. Bacteria can also enter the body through direct contact with the infected individual such as through sexual contact or through direct vertical transmission such as a mother transmitting a bacterium to a fetus.

At times the bacteria is transmitted through direct contact with the blood such as in blood transfusion and others through vectors such as being bitten by a mosquito one can be infected with malaria. On entering the body, the bacteria begin to acquire the energy that it requires for it to survive and live for long. In the process, the bacteria grow and begin to multiply. The use of antimicrobial agents aims at breaking down the chains of bacterial growth and the lysis of bacterial cells for other tiny bacteria. On the other hand, viral infection cannot survive without entering the human body, unlike the bacteria. The virus can only be transmitted from one person to another or from an animal to a human being through direct contact with body fluids such as blood and semen.    According to (Baker & Lyden, 2016), the virus uses the human health cell to multiply by injecting their RNA into the human cell. The multiplication of viruses occurs rapidly, and it can kill, damage or can change the other body cells, thus making the cells to damage the body.  The treatment of viral infection is still a concern in the medical field because it is too much limited to current medical knowledge. Most antiviral agents do not kill the virus entirely; instead, it just limits the multiplication of the virus by inhibiting the RNA translation (Deng, 2013). Some infections such as HIV have no known cure as per the current updates, but its multiplications can be limited with various combinations of antiviral medications.

Importance of Antimicrobial selection

Proper identification pathogenic disease is key to the choosing of an appropriate antimicrobial agent to avoid drug resistance of the microorganisms that cause the infections (Scheithauer & Kaase, 2018). The majority of the organisms causing the viral and bacterial infections have evolved to become resistant to the antimicrobial agents, and lack of proper identification can fail treatment of the infections. Proper identification also enables adequate use of vaccination to prevent the microorganisms from causing diseases. The performance of tests such as blood, urine, and stool culture helps in the diagnosis of the disease and in identifying the causative agents, thus ease the prescription of recommended medications that would manage the condition effectively. Proper diagnosis helps in reducing the resistance of a microbe against a particular antimicrobial agent.


In conclusion, medical practitioners play a crucial role in the treatment of pathogenic infections. Identification of a disease-causing microorganism enables the health care practitioners to prescribe the correct antimicrobial agents that will help in avoiding drug resistance. The knowledge on the difference between bacterial infection and viral infections enables the health professionals to identify specific infectious agents through laboratory testing and physical examination hence effective treatment.


Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017).    Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler,   PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Baker, A., & Lyden-Rodgers, M. (2016). IV antibiotic therapy in the community: clinically useful and cost-effective. British Journal Of Nursing25(sup2), S4-S8.

Deng, J. C. (2013). Viral-bacterial interactions-therapeutic implications. Influenza And Other       Respiratory Viruses7 Suppl 324-35. DOI:10.1111/irv.12174

Scheithauer, S., & Kaase, M. (2018). [Prevention and Detection of Multidrug-resistant     Bacteria]. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift (1946)143(9), 634-642. DOI:10.1055/s-      0043-115622

Steckelberg, J. (2017). Bacterial vs. viral infections: How do they differ?. Retrieved from                answers/infectious-disease/faq-20058098