Chemotherapy: Unveiling Its Meaning

INTRODUCTION

Chemotherapy is the use of chemicals to treat infectious diseases by killing or inhibiting the growth of harmful organisms without harming host tissues or cells. Chemotherapy is an umbrella term. It is classified into the following groups based on the type of organism against which it is used.

CLASSIFICATION

  • Antibacterial drugs: These medications are used to treat bacterial infections such as streptococcal and staphylococcal infections.
  • Antifungal drugs: These medications are used to treat Candida, Aspergillus, and other fungi infections.
  • Anthelmintic pharmaceuticals are used to treat worm infestations (Ascaris, Ankylostoma, and so on).
  • Anticancer medications: These are drugs that are used to treat neoplastic diseases such as lymphomas and leukemias.

Paul Ehrlich established the efficacy of methylene blue in the treatment of malaria. He also created arsenical chemicals that may be used to cure syphilis. The development of newer and more potent antibacterial chemicals earned Paul Ehrlich the title of “Father of Modern Chemotherapy” and earned him the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1909.
Sir Alexander Fleming discovered in 1928 that Penicillium notatum (a fungus) produced a diffusible material that inhibited the growth of adjacent bacterial colonies in a culture plate. He christened it ‘penicillin,’ but it remained a scientific curiosity for more than a decade. This study was followed by Chain, Falk, and Florey, who established the efficacy of penicillin in 1941, and in 1945, Fleming, Chain, and Florey were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Antimicrobial agents can be either bactericidal or bacteriostatic.

a) Bactericidal first and foremost: penicillin, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, vancomycin, polypeptides, INH, cotrimoxazole, rifampicin

Fluoroquinolones and nalidixic acid are two examples.
b) Bacteriostatic first and foremost: ethambutol, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, tetracyclines, sulfonamides
Penicillin is a beta lactam antibiotic with a beta-lactam ring in which a thiazolidine ring is connected to a beta-lactam ring carrying a secondary amino group. Cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems are examples of related chemicals.

Penicillin is a beta lactam antibiotic with a beta-lactam ring in which a thiazolidine ring is connected to a beta-lactam ring carrying a secondary amino group. Cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems are examples of related chemicals.

PENCILLIN

Penicillin was first collected from the mold Penicillium notatum, but due to its high yield, it is currently produced from its related mold Penicillium chrysogenum. Penicillin contains a beta lactam ring, which is required for antibacterial activity. The bacterial cell wall is a hard outer layer that surrounds the cytoplasmic membrane completely. Penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics suppress bacterial growth by interfering with a key stage in the creation of bacterial cell walls.

Penicillins that are semi-synthetic
Semisynthetic penicillins are synthesized by adding certain side chains in place of the benzyl side chain. They were developed to address the drawbacks of benzyl penicillin, such as its low bioavailability, susceptibility to penicillinase, and narrow spectrum of activity. The antibacterial spectrum of phenoxymethyl penicillin is comparable to that of benzyl penicillin, however it is less active. It is used to treat tonsillitis, otitis media, erysipelas, and to prevent rheumatic fever and pneumococcal infections.

Penicillinase Resistant Penicillin
It is resistant to penicillinase breakdown. It mostly inhibits gram-positive pathogens and is effective against penicillinase-producing Staph. aureus. Cloxacillin is less effective against bacteria than benzyl 142.

penicillin. It has no major negative effects, however it can produce hypersensitivity reactions in certain patients. Cloxacillin analogs include dicloxacillin and flucloxacillin.

Broad Spectrum Penicillins

They have a broad antibacterial range and can kill both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Penicillinase hydrolyzes them.
Ampicillin is a penicillin with a broad spectrum of action. It is more effective than benzyl penicillin against a wide range of gram negative bacteria. Infections caused by susceptible gram positive and gram negative organisms (respiratory tract, soft tissue, gonococcal, GI, and genitourinary infections), septicaemia, meningitis, chronic bronchitis, otitis media, sinusitis, invasive salmonellosis, and cholecystitis are treated with it.
Amoxycillin is a semisynthetic penicillin that is a close relative of ampicillin and is active against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. It is used to treat infections caused by pneumococci, streptococci, staphylococci, H. influenzae, E. coli, and other susceptible organisms in the respiratory, genitourinary, skin and soft tissue, and ENT systems. Amoxycillin is also employed.

CONCLUSION

  • Beta lactam antibiotics with a β-lactam ring, such as penicillin Cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems are examples of antibiotics.
  • Penicillins are primarily bacteriocidal and kill bacteria by interfering with cell wall formation.

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