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SPECTRUM OF ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY   The goal that must always be kept in mind is that the antimicrobial must cause more harm to the  pathogen than to the host.  This is called selective toxicity.  We have had our greatest success  with antibacterial antibiotics, since there are a number of things that are different in procaryotic  bacterial cells from the eucaryotic cells of the host. These differences make it relatively easy to  target the pathogen and spare the host. Attacking the eucaryotic cells of fungi, helminths,  and  protozoa, and the host cells that viruses have invaded is more difficult.    Antimicrobials may work against only certain microbes. They can be: Antibacterial Antifungal
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Unformatted text preview: • Antiviral • Antiprotozoal The spectrum of activity is the range of different microbes a drug is able to work against. Narrow-spectrum means that the drug works best against only a certain group or type; broad-spectrum drugs work against a wider range of microbes. If the drug works against bacteria, a broad-spectrum drug would probably do well against both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. A narrow-spectrum drug would work only against one or the other, or possibly an even narrower group. An ideal antimicrobial would have more effect against pathogens and less on the normal flora of the body. Unfortunately, this is not always possible....
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