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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Bacteria

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Bacterial Infection & Allergies to Antibiotics [posted 10/6/98]
Question:What is recommended for someone in need of treatment for a bacterial infection if they are allergic to all four major antibiotic groups, e.g., penicillins, tetroclycline,sulpha and erithemyecin? (spelling may not be correct.)

Answer: Floxins.

Anaerobic [posted 8/11/98]
Question: What is the definition of anaerobic?

Answer: An-without, aerobic-air, hence "without air" - usually referring to anaerobic bacteria and the like.

Bacteria's Resistance to Antibiotics [posted 7/23/98]
Question: I am a student doing an independent study of the use of antibiotics. My question is how do bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics?

Answer: There are several mechanisms depending on the antibiotic and the bacteria. However, they all have in common genetic protective mechanisms which protect against the antibiotic. These genes are then spread from one bacteria to another and peculiarly from one species to another. Sometimes the protective DNA is in the main genetic code of the bacteria, sometimes it is in little special pieces passed from one to the other. Selective pressure of antibiotics appear to be the key for the start of resistance.

Resistant Bacteria [posted 7/16/98]
Question: To which germicides are E.coli, mircococcus luteus, and serratia marcescens most resistant to: lysol, Hilex, or Dispatch? Which of the three bacteria is the most resistant? The least?

Answer: The susceptibility of bacteria has been changing too rapidly to make any absolute recommendations. In general, these preparations achieve their major activity by debridement of bacteria during scrubbing/washing.

Bacteria - E. Coli
Question: If E. Coli are naturally occurring in the intestines, how do they get there in the first place in newborns?

Answer: The E. Coli is not present at birth. It is picked up from the environment and the mother post partum.

Bacteria - 0157 H type
Question: How can you kill the O157 H type bacteria? It is brought by cow meat and there has been a case in Hong Kong.

Answer: This bacteria is not especially new or different. It's just that lessons from the late 1800s have been forgotten. You prevent bacterial infections (and occasionally death) by cooking your food sufficiently and pasteurizing the liquids. E.Coli is the bacteria and is found almost anywhere - a common bacteria in anyone's colon. This one is nasty because of the toxins it produces. It can be found in non-pasteurized apple juice, uncooked beef or many other sources.
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