Antimicrobials

Vocabulary

aminoglycoside

antimicrobial that disrupts bacterial protein synthesis and is used to treat aerobic gram-negative infections

antibiotic

antimicrobial chemotherapy agent used as a drug for the treatment of a bacterial infection

antibiotic stewardship

coordinated program that helps improve the usage of antibiotics in increasing human health while decreasing resistance and costs of using them

antimetabolite

chemical that impedes the use of the appropriate metabolite in a biochemical pathway

bacitracin

antibiotic that blocks the formation of cell walls

bactericidal

resulting in the death of bacterial cells

bacteriostatic

causing microbial replication to fail inhibiting the growth of bacteria

beta-lactamase

enzyme that hydrolyzes the beta-lactam ring, effectively providing multidrug resistance against entire groups of beta-lactam antibiotics

broad-spectrum antibiotics

antibiotics that are effective against many different types of microbes

cephalosporin

beta-lactam antibiotic with some resistance to beta-lactamase that is effective against gram-positive and some gram-negative bacteria

chromosomal resistance

antimicrobial resistance conferred by genes coded on the bacterial chromosome

disk diffusion method

method that allows for testing large numbers of antimicrobial chemicals against a microbial strain

ETEST

test that allows for the determination of the lowest concentration of an antimicrobial necessary to stop microbial growth

extrachromosomal resistance

antimicrobial resistance conferred by genes not coded on the bacterial chromosome, typically on plasmids

imidazole

azole antifungal group widely used in agriculture and for the topical treatment of skin infections such as athlete's foot

minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC)

lowest concentration of an antimicrobial necessary to kill 99.9% of bacterial cells

minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)

lowest concentration of an antimicrobial necessary to stop microbial growth

narrow-spectrum antibiotics

antibiotics that are effective against smaller, more specific groups of microbes, such as gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria but not both

penicillin

group of broad-spectrum antibiotics that inhibit bacterial cell wall synthesis

penicillinase

enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of the beta-lactam ring of a penicillin drug

persister cell

bacterial cell susceptible to an antibiotic that survives through a course of the antibiotic

polymyxin

antimicrobial with detergent-like properties that disrupts the membranes of gram-negative bacteria

quinolone

any of a large group of broad-spectrum antibiotics sharing a common chemical form that target bacterial DNA gyrase and are used in human and veterinary medicine for the treatment of bacterial infections

rifamycin

antimicrobial that alters the activity of enzymes in the liver, causing them to metabolize other drugs into metabolites with more potent liver toxicity

selective toxicity

ability to kill a microbe or inhibit microbial growth while exhibiting minimal toxicity to the patient

serum killing power

lowest concentration of a patient's serum that effectively inhibits a pathogen's growth

superinfection

secondary infection occurring following antibiotic treatment when a second pathogen is resistant to the original antibiotics

tetracycline

antimicrobial that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is prescribed for a wide range of infections

therapeutic dose

minimum quantity of a drug necessary to treat a patient