BIO 580 Medical Microbiology Unit 4 – Control 1
Unit 4 - Control of Microbial Infections
We may not cover all of this information in class, so from time to time I will skip forward.
Two ways to control microbial infections:
1. attack the pathogens
**chemotherapy – given after exposure, short-term
other microbes (bacteriophages)
2. shore up host defenses
**immunization – given prior to exposure, longer term
improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and health
I. Chemotherapy
A. History of Chemotherapy
 1854-1915 - Paul Ehrlich –
1904 1910 –
1935 1928 - Fleming –
1940 1944 1950s -
B. Concerns for Antimicrobial Administration, Distribution, and Elimination
1. Routes of Administration
a. IV b. IM c. oral -
2. Distribution - what inhibits antimicrobial distribution in the body?
a. barriers –
b. poor circulation, poor penetration of a site
3. Elimination - how antimicrobials are eliminated from the body
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C. How Antimicrobial Agents Work
Antimicrobials are classified by three different classification systems used simultaneously:
1. microbicidal or microbistatic -
2. by site of action of the drug
3. by chemical structure
Antimicrobial agents organized by site of action - Know site of action for the antibiotics from lab
**5 Sites of Action (or targets) of Antimicrobials
1. Cell wall synthesis
2. Cell membrane function
3. Nucleic acid synthesis or replication
4. Bacterial ribosome and protein synthesis
5. Metabolic pathways
1. Inhibit cell wall (i.e. peptidoglycan)l synthesis
Can inhibit peptidoglycan synthesis in two different manners:
2. Disrupt cell membrane function
3. Inhibit nucleic acid synthesis or replication
4. Inhibit protein synthesis by interfering with bacterial ribosome – either 30S or 50S
5. Inhibit metabolic pathways
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Antimicrobial agents organized by drug family – Know drug family for the antibiotics from lab
A. Anti-Bacterial Agents – I will only cover a few of these in class
Usually an antibiotic – a natural substance secreted by one microbe that inhibits the growth of
another microbe.
1. Inhibitors of cell wall synthesis (Figs. 33.6, 33.8)
*Beta-lactams – antibiotics containing a beta-lactam ring
a. Penicillins – end in “illin”
b. Cephalosporins – begin with “ceph” or “cef”
Mode of action – inhibit cell wall synthesis by binding any of a group of membrane
proteins collectively called penicillin-binding proteins (PBP) –that are involved in crosslinking the peptides of peptidoglycan  activate cell lysis (-cidal)
Administration route – IM, IV, PO (some semi-synthetics have been produced to be acid
Distribution in the body – cross membranes, incl. BBB
Mechanism of elimination – kidneys  urine (rapid)
Special uses –most heavily used family – but only effective against bacteria with cell walls
Adverse side effects – Generally very low toxicity. Type I hypersensitivity (rare), rashes,
some bacteria develop -lactam resistance during the course of txt.
Examples - penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, methicillin
cephalothin, cephalexin, cefaclor (highlight the ones from lab)
2. Inhibitors of cytoplasmic membrane function
 Mode of action – detergents that disrupt phospholipid structure
 Administration – topical
 Uses – Gram negatives except Proteus
 Examples – Polymyxin B
3. Inhibitors of protein synthesis (Fig. 33.10)
Aminoglycosides – end in “mycin” or “micin”
 Mode of action –1) irreversible binding to 30S subunit of ribosome  no initiation
complex no protein synthesis. 2) misreading of mRNA  defective protein (-cidal)
 Administration –IV – not well absorbed orally because + charged, don’t cross membranes
 Distribution – blood and fluids – can’t cross membranes
 Elimination – kidneys  urine
 Uses – serious systemic GN in hospitalized patients
 Side effects – very toxic – most toxic of all commonly used antibiotics – fine line between
therapeutic doses and toxic doses – can result in irreversible damage to inner ear (loss of
hearing/balance) and kidneys.
 Examples – streptomycin (was a major anti-TB drug), gentamicin (broad spectrum),
amikacin, neomycin
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Tetracyclines – end in “cline” (although brand names may end in “mycin”, like Vibramycin)
 Mode of action reversible binding to 30S  blocks A site on ribosome (-static)
 Administration – PO, well-absorbed
 Distribution - broadly distributed in the body, intracellular.
 Elimination – through kidneys to urine and bile to feces
 Uses – very broad spectrum – G+, spirochetes, mycoplasma (don’t have peptidoglycan),
intracellular (chlamydia, rickettsia)
 Side effects:
GI upset - partly due to direct irritation of GI by the drug, partly due to rapid drug-induced
changes in normal gut microbiota  diarrhea.
Children – interacts with Ca 2+ in developing bones and teeth, can permanently stain the
teeth, so not given to children or pregnant women.
Organ damage – systemic administration can result in liver and kidney damage.
*Added to animal feed - resulting in widespread tetracycline resistance
 Examples – tetracycline, oxytetracycline, doxycycline
 Mode of action –reversible binding to 50S – prevents action of peptidyl transferase and
peptide bond synthesis (-static)
 Administration – PO, IV, topical
 Distribution – crosses membranes incl. brain, eye, and cellular
 Elimination – metabolized in liver  inactive form  kidneys to urine
 Uses – broad spectrum; G+, G-, aerobes and anaerobes, intracellular
 Side effects – pretty toxic, used only when other antibiotics are not effective. Disrupts
protein synthesis in bone marrow  bone marrow suppression, which is dose-dependent
and reversible. May also result in aplastic anemia, which is dose independent, irreversible,
and fatal. Develops days to weeks after txt stops (rare).
Macrolides, lincosamides - mycin
 Mode of action –prevents release of tRNA (-static)
 Administration – IV, PO
 Distribution – well distributed except into CSF or intracellular
 Elimination – liver  bile  feces
 Uses – mainly G+, an alternative to b-lactams
 Examples:
Macrolide - Erythromycin - best known and most widely used. Binds to 23S rRNA &
blocks release of tRNA. Fairly safe, low toxicity, but resistance may develop rapidly during
Lincosamide - Clindamycin – inhibits peptide bond formation. Active against many
anaerobes. Assoc. with pseudomembranous colitis, caused by an overgrowth of
Clostridium difficile in the wake of widespread destruction of normal gut microbiota.
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Inhibitors of Nucleic Acid Synthesis
Inhibit DNA replication - Quinolones
 Mode of Action – inhibit DNA gyrase & topoisomerase (-cidal)
 Administration - PO
 Distribution – crosses membranes
 Elimination – kidneys  urine
 Uses – UTI (esp. ciprofloxacin), systemic infections by Enterobacteriaceae.
 Side effects – GI, also inhibits cartilage development so not given to children, pregnant or
lactating women.
 Examples - (nalidixic acid), norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin
Block synthesis of mRNA – rifamycins
 Mode of Action – binds to DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (-cidal)
 Administration - PO
 Distribution – crosses membranes, reaches high conc in saliva
 Elimination liver __> bile  feces
 Uses mycobacterial infections
 Side effects – rashes and jaundice
 Examples - rifampin
Antimetabolites - Sulfonamides - synthetic
 Mode of action – structural analogs of para-amino benzoic acid (PABA)  results in
inhibition of folic acid synthesis (-static)
 Administration - PO
 Distribution – well absorbed and distributed widely in fluids and tissues.
 Elimination –  inactive compound, kidneys  urine.
 Uses – broad spectrum, G- except . aeruginosa. Standard for UTI in combination with
 Side effects – relatively free of toxic effects
 Example – Sulfamethoxazole (GantanoleR)
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B. Anti-Fungal Agents - Fewer in number - Selective toxicity more difficult – superficial
infections respond well to topical antifungals but systemic fungal infections are challenging to
cure. I will only cover Amphotericin B in class
1. Azoles – lots of them
 Mode of action – inhibit the synthesis of ergosterol
 Uses – skin and deep systemic mycoses
 Exs. miconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole
PO or IV
2. Polyenes – produced by Streptomyces
 Ex.
 Mode of action -
Amphotericin B
Both bind to ergosterol in the fungal membrane K+ leakage
 cell death
 Administered -
 Uses -
Poor penetration into fluids. Used
for serious systemic infections
such as cryptococcal meningitis,
 Side effects -
Universal febrile  high fever,
chills, hypotension, nausea,
vomiting, dyspnea, tachypnea.
Nephrotoxicity  permanent
kidney damage in 80% of treated
Hepatotoxicity, cardiac
arrhythmias, cardiac failure
3. Griseofulvin – from Penicillium
 Mode of action – impairs mitotic spindle  inhibits fungal cell division
 Uses – dermatophytes onlys – a 1st line txt but being replaced by newer antifungals like the
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C. Anti-Viral Agents – Development of antiviral chemotherapy has lagged behind the others but
has been spurred by HIV/AIDS (1/2 of all antivirals are for HIV). Since viruses use host
structures and enzymes for replication, inhibiting viral replication without toxicity to the host is
difficult. All are virustatic. I will not cover examples in class
Targets for antivirals – in theory, any step from attachment & entry  exit.
1. Target viral DNA polymerase
 Ex. Aciclovir (ZoviraxR)
 Uses – herpes, varicella infections – to prevent reactivation & encephalitis – cannot resolve
latent infections – not a cure.
2. Inhibitors of reverse transcriptase - retroviruses including HIV (RNA  DNA)
Ex. AZT = Azidothymidine (Zidovudine, RetrovirR)
Mode of action – analogue of thymidine, interferes with reverse transcription.
Administration – PO
Uses – slows the progression of immune failure. Given to pregnant women so they won’t
pass HIV to their fetus.
5. Side effects –bone marrow toxicity
6. Never use in monotherapy.
3. Inhibitors of viral proteases  formation of defective HIV
7. Never use in monotherapy due to risk of developing resistance.
4. Antivirals targeting Influenza viruses
 Ex. Amantadine
 Mode of action –prevents fusion of viral envelope with cell membrane
 Administration – PO – 2-4 hrs to peak blood levels.
 Uses – Txt of influenza A if given w/in 48h. Prophylaxis for high risk patients.
 Side effects – insomnia, dizziness, headache, psychoses.
 Ex. Oseltamivir
 Mode of action – inhibits neuraminidase
 Use – also effective against H5N1 (avian influenza)
*** Often there is a lot of toxicity with anti microbial drugs!!!
Also, development of drug resistance in the microbe is a problem!
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D. Antimicrobial Resistance
1. Perspective (any notes you want to make here)
2. Development of antimicrobial resistance
Primary resistance –
Acquired resistance = Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) -
***3. Relationship between microbial burden, clinical symptoms, and antibiotics (understand well!!!)
(sorry the graphs did not copy over very well)
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4. The scope of the problem (any notes you want to make)
5. Combating antibiotic resistance
a. Decrease prescription antibiotics to small children
b. Large scale public education efforts
c. Regulate antibiotic use in animal feed
d. What about remove antibiotic until bacteria lose the acquired resistance?
e. Step up the search for new, very different antimicrobial products
II. Immunization
Used to protect individuals prior to exposure.
The point of Immunization (how it works) – draw diagram
Goal may be to block transmission, prevent symptoms, or eradicate disease.
A certain percentage of the population will need to be immune to interrupt disease transmission.
The greater the number of persons 1 infected individual can infect, the more difficult the disease
will be to control.
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Requirements of a “Good” Vaccine
1. Effective
 correct and adequate –
 sufficient duration –
 herd immunity  boosters 2. Safe
 no reversion  no allergies  no contamination 3. Stable
 long shelf-life  refrigeration not required 4. Affordable
Types of Vaccines - Important
1. Live (but attenuated) – whole agent but weakened in the lab
 Mimics a natural infection – enters at same site, multiplies, providing longer term antigenic
 Good instruction of immune response  strong antibody (IgG) and cellular response
 Long lasting
 Spreads among close contacts.
 Agent can mutate and revert to virulent so contraindicated in immunocompromised and
 Requires refrigeration to retain potency
Exs. Smallpox (heterologous), Influenza nasal (FluMist), MMR, Varicella, yellow fever, OPV
(oral polio virus).
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2. Inactivated (but whole, intact) – produced by killing agent with heat, chemicals, or radiation
 Induces pretty good immune response with IgG and IgA
 No reversion to virulent, can use in immunocompromised
 Doesn’t req. refrigeration, easily stored and transported.
 Stimulates CMI only poorly
 Immunity is not long lasting, req. boosters
 Does not spread to close contacts
 Increased risk of allergic responses (chemicals)
Exs. Influenza injected (TIV), Hep A, IPV, anthrax
3. Subunit- instead of whole agent, only the antigens that best stimulate the immune system
Pros - Very safe
Cons – tricky to find the correct antigen
Exs. Subcellular polysaccharides – Hib, PVC, MCV4 stimulate opsonizing IgG; acellular – aP,
HPV; toxoid - D, T
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Timing of vaccination - Vaccination schedules for various age groups can be found at
Recommended Childhood Immunizations (Ages 0-6 years) – Updated 2012 - I will only point out a
couple of important points
1. HepB – Hepatitis B – 3 doses beginning at birth
2. RV – Rotavirus – 3 doses beginning at 2 months
3. DTaP – Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis – 3 doses beginning at 2 months + booster
4. Hib – Haemophilus influenzae type B – 3 doses beginning at 2 months
5. PCV – Pneumonococcal (Streptococcus pneumoniae, polysaccharide capsule strains that infect
children) – 3 doses beginning at 2 months
6. IPV – Inactivated Poliovirus – 2 doses beginning at 2 months + booster
7. Influenza – every year beginning at 6 months for TIV, 2 years for LAIV
8. MMR – Measles Mumps Rubella – 12 - 15months =+ booster
9. Varicella – Chickenpox – 12 – 15 months + booster
10. HepA – Hepatitis A – 2 doses beginning at 12 months
Booster are given age 4-6 years
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Recommended Adult Immunizations – Updated 2012 –I will only point out a couple of important
1. Influenza – everyone every year
2. Td/Tdap – Tetanus diphtheria/Tetanus diphtheria acellular pertussis – 1 booster every 10 years
3. Varicella – everyone who lacks immunity – 2 doses
4. HPV – Human papillomoavirus – all females age 19–26 and males age 19-21 – 3 doses
5. Zoster (shingles) – age 60 – 1 dose
6. MMR – Measles, mumps, rubella – anyone 19-49 who is not immune
7. Pneumonococcal – everyone over 65 (those polysaccharide strains of S. pneumoniae that infect
adults, different strains than in the childhood vaccine)
8. Hep A, Hep B, Meningococcal – certain “at risk” groups
9. Others for overseas travelers, military.
There is a lot of mis-information about vaccines and vaccine safety out there. There are sites that
I believe to be the most reputable.
Information on vaccines and vaccine safety can be found at the following sites:
On-line quiz, what vaccinations do you need?
Vaccine Side Effects
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
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III. Attack pathogens using other microbes
A. Probiotic Therapy (pro = “for”, bios = “life”)
1. Characteristics of good probiotics
 non-pathogenic
 beneficial
 acid stable
 good attachment mechanisms
 able to grow
2. How probiotics work
 competition for space
 inactivate toxins
 secrete antibiotics
 stimulate nonspecific immunity
IV. Phage Therapy
Bacteriophages – viruses that specifically infect and kill bacteria
A. History of phage therapy
B. How phage therapy works
 can be targeted far more specifically than most drugs
 are self-replicating - replicate and spread in the body as long as the pathogen target
is present
 are self-eliminating
 evolve with pathogen hosts, resistance is not likely
 cause few side effects, good for people with allergies
 useful for both treatment and prophylaxis
 can be prepared locally and inexpensively
 can be used either independently or in combination with traditional drugs

BIO 580 Medical Microbiology Unit 4 - Control of Microbial Infections