Bacterial Infection Information
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Bacterial Infection Treatment

Bacterial infections and their treatment fascinate medical researchers and doctors for the wide range of bacterium that attack or invade humans, and the resistance to the human immune system that they exhibit. Many billions of dollars are invested in finding new treatments for bacterial infections, yet the battle to save life continues as bacteria evolve.

Throughout human history bacterial infections have been making individuals sick, and spreading from person to person, yet until recently, bacteria were unknown, and treatment was not available unless we consider ineffective methods such as bloodletting and herbal mixtures placed on the patient that were believed to offer the best chance of recovery for more serious ailments.

It wasn’t until 1674 that a dutchman, Antony van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society about his discovery describing numerous small animalcules swimming around in the spit of several people whose plaque he had inspected using one of the first microscopes. This was the first recorded observation of living bacteria, but sadly treatments remained elusive.

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The discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, and it’s usefulness in the treatment of bacterial infections marked a turning point, and triggered an explosion of research that led to many millions of lives being saved as antibacterials became affordable, and more importantly, proved effective at providing rapid relief and recovery.

Since the 1940s many diseases and bacterial infections have been effectively eliminated in western countries, mostly thru the development of antibacterial medications and our understanding of how bacteria operates to damage surrounding cells, but by understanding the bacteria, it’s building blocks, and it’s cell division, scientists have been able to produce medications that specifically target certain strains of bacteria.

Antibiotic treatments are categorized using three broad mechanisms, those that inhibit cell wall formation, those that interrupt protein synthesis, and those that inhibit metabolism of the bacteria by preventing DNA synthesis or the permeability of the cell membrane. Each mechanism is more or less effective against certain types of bacteria, yet all provide an arsenal of techniques for producing bacterial infection treatments.

Treatments for antibiotic infections need to be prescribed by a competent medical professional, who will be able to describe the infection based on professional diagnosis, perhaps backed up with laboratory analysis of blood samples. Women who are pregnant are particularly advised to avoid antibiotic treatments as these could be harmful to the fetus.

Patients should never be tempted to use antibiotic medications without explicit advice from their doctor, it is especially important that older antibiotics that remain from a previous and perhaps different infection are not used because all antibiotics are not created equal. The common grouping of bacterial infection treatments under the umbrella term antibiotic does not mean that all antibiotics are the same.

Medical practitioners over the last 50-60 years have been a little too quick to prescribe antibiotics, in many cases the patient would have recovered without their use, and unfortunately the result is increasing resistance to antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections. Medications that were effective 10 years ago, or even last year, may no longer be effective, and could be harmful.

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