ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS2Antimicrobial AgentsAn antimicrobial is a medication that extinguishes or prohibits the growth of amicroorganism. These antimicrobial agents may be chemical compounds or physical agents.These agents help disrupt the growth and reproduction of organisms like bacteria, fungi,parasites, and viruses (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold, 2017). The premise of thisassignment is to provide a description of antimicrobial agents. We will be defining anddifferentiating between viral and bacterial infections. Finally, we will provide an explanation ofwhy proper identification of an infection is crucial in selecting the appropriate treatment option. Categories of Antimicrobial AgentsAntimicrobial agents should be used cautiously and depending on the source and the typeof infection the patient has. It is not uncommon to begin treatment by selecting an antimicrobial agent that could be most effective on the possible pathogen. Many different categories of antimicrobial agents are available and all of them provide different clinical indications, mechanism of action, and spectrum of activity.Antimicrobial agents are most commonly classified based on the agent infecting the host (Arcangelo et al., 2017). The types of antimicrobial classes are antibiotics, antivirals, antifungalsand antiprotozoals (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Antibiotics are classified into groups. These groups include Penicillins, Beta-Lactam/Beta-Lactamase Inhibitors, Cephalosporins, Monobactams, Carbapenems, Fluoroquinolones, Macrolides, Aminoglycosides, Tetracyclines, Glycylcyclines, Sulfonamides, Glycopeptides, Oxazolidinones, Streptogramins, Clindamycin, Lipopeptides, Metronidazole, Chloramphenicol, Rifampin, and Nitrofurantoin. Penicillin: All penicillins work by inhibiting the bacterial enzymes responsible for cell wall synthesis in replicating microorganisms and by activating other enzymes to break down the
ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS3protective wall of the microorganism (Kizior, Hodgson, Hodgson, & Witmer, 2017). Penicillins are primarily used to treat throat infections, meningitis, syphilis, and various other infections (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Beta-Lactam/Beta-Lactamase Inhibitors: Beta-lactamase inhibitors act by blocking the activity of beta-lactamases and prevent the degradation of beta-lactam antibiotics. They tend to have little antibiotic activity on their own (Arcangelo et al., 2017).