How do antibiotics work to fight bacterial infections

Bacterial Infections and Their Causes

There are about five nonillion bacteria living on our planet. Bacteria belong to microorganisms that are tiny but present in a large quantity. Bacteria are able to survive in various environments from extremely cold to hot. Our body has millions of bacteria on skin, mouth, airway, urinary and digestive tracts, etc. Some bacteria are able to cause infections, including the following:

• Dysentery;
• Typhoid;
• Plague;
• Diphtheria;
• Cholera;
• Tuberculosis;
• Pneumonia;
• Typhus.

Bacteria can cause the following infections:

• Brain infections (Neisseria, meningitides, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Listeria monocytogenes, and others);
• Ear infections (Streptococcus pneumoniae);
• Pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and others);
• Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis);
• URTI (Haemophilus influenza and Streptococcus pyogenes);
• Gastritis (Helicobacter pylori);
• Food poisoning (Salmonella, Clostridium, Shigella, Escherichia coli, and others);
• Eye infections (Neisseria gonorrheae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and others);
• Sinusitis (Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae);
• UTI (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and others);
• Skin infections (Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and others);
• STDs (Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trahomatis, and others).

The typical symptoms of bacterial infections are inflammation, redness, and pain.

How Bacterial Infections Are Treated

Antibiotics have been used for treating bacterial infections for several decades, but before their invention, people had to use various methods such as bloodletting, chemical components supplements, etc. Not only were these methods often ineffective, but they would also cause additional damage to the body. Thanks to antibiotics, people can manage most of the bacterial infections easily.

So, how do antibiotics work to fight bacterial infections? There are different mechanisms of how antibiotics destroy bacterial infections. Some medications can only treat infections caused by certain bacteria, and others are able to manage infections caused by many bacteria.

Antibacterial agents target bacteria in two ways: they prevent bacteria from reproduction or kill them. Antibacterials like cephalosporin and penicillin are able to destroy bacteria, and that is why they are called bactericidal agents. These agents attack the cell wall of bacterial, injuring it. These bacteria cannot do any further harm to the body. Other antibiotics such as erythromycin and tetracycline belong to bacteriostatic medications because they do not allow nutrients reach the bacteria, which, consequently, does not allow bacteria to multiply.
In order to ensure successful treatment, it is important to choose the right antibiotic. This can only be done by health professionals through observing symptoms and checking analysis of a patient. If a medication is chosen incorrectly, it will not treat the infection but will lead to the killing of a range of good bacteria in the body. Antibiotics are effective only for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria, and they should not be used in treating infections caused by other microbes, such as viruses or fungi.

Today, it is possible to undergo certain medical tests to determine which antibiotic will be effective for the treatment of a particular infection. The wise choice and use of antibiotics are crucial for preventing the occurrence of antibiotic resistance, which makes bacteria unaffected by antibacterial agents.