Items in AFP with MESH term: Anti-Infective Agents

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Update on the Prevention and Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Article

ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published updated guidelines that provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Patient education is the first important step in reducing the number of persons who engage in risky sexual behaviors. Information on STD prevention should be individualized on the basis of the patient's stage of development and understanding of sexual issues. Other preventive strategies include administering the hepatitis B vaccine series to unimmunized patients who present for STD evaluation and administering hepatitis A vaccine to illegal drug users and men who have sex with men. The CDC recommends against using any form of nonoxynol 9 for STD prevention. New treatment strategies include avoiding the use of quinolone therapy in patients who contract gonorrhea in California or Hawaii. Testing for cure is not necessary if chlamydial infection is treated with a first-line antibiotic (azithromycin or doxycycline). However, all women should be retested three to four months after treatment for chlamydial infection, because of the high incidence of reinfection. Testing for herpes simplex virus serotype is advised in patients with genital infection, because recurrent infection is less likely with the type 1 serotype than with the type 2 serotype. The CDC guidelines also include new information on the treatment of diseases characterized by vaginal discharge.


Management of Vaginitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Common infectious forms of vaginitis include bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. Vaginitis also can occur because of atrophic changes. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by proliferation of Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, and anaerobes. The diagnosis is based primarily on the Amsel criteria (milky discharge, pH greater than 4.5, positive whiff test, clue cells in a wet-mount preparation). The standard treatment is oral metronidazole in a dosage of 500 mg twice daily for seven days. Vulvovaginal candidiasis can be difficult to diagnose because characteristic signs and symptoms (thick, white discharge, dysuria, vulvovaginal pruritus and swelling) are not specific for the infection. Diagnosis should rely on microscopic examination of a sample from the lateral vaginal wall (10 to 20 percent potassium hydroxide preparation). Cultures are helpful in women with recurrent or complicated vulvovaginal candidiasis, because species other than Candida albicans (e.g., Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis) may be present. Topical azole and oral fluconazole are equally efficacious in the management of uncomplicated vulvovaginal candidiasis, but a more extensive regimen may be required for complicated infections. Trichomoniasis may cause a foul-smelling, frothy discharge and, in most affected women, vaginal inflammatory changes. Culture and DNA probe testing are useful in diagnosing the infection; examinations of wet-mount preparations have a high false-negative rate. The standard treatment for trichomoniasis is a single 2-g oral dose of metronidazole. Atrophic vaginitis results from estrogen deficiency. Treatment with topical estrogen is effective.


Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea - Article

ABSTRACT: Clostridium difficile infection is responsible for approximately 3 million cases of diarrhea and colitis annually in the United States. The mortality rate is 1 to 2.5 percent. Early diagnosis and prompt aggressive treatment are critical in managing C. difficile-associated diarrhea. Major predisposing factors for symptomatic C. difficile colitis include antibiotic therapy; advanced age; multiple, severe underlying diseases; and a faulty immune response to C. difficile toxins. The most common confirmatory study is an enzyme immunoassay for C. difficile toxins A and B. The test is easy to perform, and results are available in two to four hours. Specificity of the assay is high (93 to 100 percent), but sensitivity ranges from 63 to 99 percent. In severe cases, flexible sigmoidoscopy can provide an immediate diagnosis. Treatment of C. difficile-associated diarrhea includes discontinuation of the precipitating antibiotic (if possible) and the administration of metronidazole or vancomycin. Preventive measures include the judicious use of antibiotics, thorough hand washing between patient contacts, use of precautions when handling an infected patient or items in the patient's immediate environment, proper disinfection of objects, education of staff members, and isolation of the patient.


Diagnosis and Management of Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections - Article

ABSTRACT: Most uncomplicated urinary tract infections occur in women who are sexually active, with far fewer cases occurring in older women, those who are pregnant, and in men. Although the incidence of urinary tract infection has not changed substantially over the last 10 years, the diagnostic criteria, bacterial resistance patterns, and recommended treatment have changed. Escherichia coli is the leading cause of urinary tract infections, followed by Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole has been the standard therapy for urinary tract infection; however, E. coli is becoming increasingly resistant to medications. Many experts support using ciprofloxacin as an alternative and, in some cases, as the preferred first-line agent. However, others caution that widespread use of ciprofloxacin will promote increased resistance.


Diagnosis and Management of Acute Pyelonephritis in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: There are approximately 250,000 cases of acute pyelonephritis each year, resulting in more than 100,000 hospitalizations. The most common etiologic cause is infection with Escherichia coli. The combination of the leukocyte esterase test and the nitrite test (with either test proving positive) has a sensitivity of 75 to 84 percent and a specificity of 82 to 98 percent for urinary tract infection. Urine cultures are positive in 90 percent of patients with acute pyelonephritis, and cultures should be obtained before antibiotic therapy is initiated. The use of blood cultures should be reserved for patients with an uncertain diagnosis, those who are immunocompromised, and those who are suspected of having hematogenous infections. Outpatient oral antibiotic therapy with a fluoroquinolone is successful in most patients with mild uncomplicated pyelonephritis. Other effective alternatives include extended-spectrum penicillins, amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium, cephalosporins, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Indications for inpatient treatment include complicated infections, sepsis, persistent vomiting, failed outpatient treatment, or extremes of age. In hospitalized patients, intravenous treatment is recommended with a fluoroquinolone, aminoglycoside with or without ampicillin, or a third-generation cephalosporin. The standard duration of therapy is seven to 14 days. Urine culture should be repeated one to two weeks after completion of antibiotic therapy. Treatment failure may be caused by resistant organisms, underlying anatomic/functional abnormalities, or immunosuppressed states. Lack of response should prompt repeat blood and urine cultures and, possibly, imaging studies. A change in antibiotics or surgical intervention may be required.


Intertrigo and Common Secondary Skin Infections - Article

ABSTRACT: Intertrigo is inflammation of skinfolds caused by skin-on-skin friction. It is a common skin condition affecting opposing cutaneous or mucocutaneous surfaces. Intertrigo may present as diaper rash in children. The condition appears in natural and obesity-created body folds. The friction in these folds can lead to a variety of complications such as secondary bacterial or fungal infections. The usual approach to managing intertrigo is to minimize moisture and friction with absorptive powders such as cornstarch or with barrier creams. Patients should wear light, nonconstricting, and absorbent clothing and avoid wool and synthetic fibers. Physicians should educate patients about precautions with regard to heat, humidity, and outside activities. Physical exercise usually is desirable, but patients should shower afterward and dry intertriginous areas thoroughly. Wearing open-toed shoes can be beneficial for toe web intertrigo. Secondary bacterial and fungal infections should be treated with antiseptics, antibiotics, or antifungals, depending on the pathogens.


Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: A common dilemma in clinical medicine is whether to treat asymptomatic patients who present with bacteria in their urine. There are few scenarios in which antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic bacteruria has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Because of increasing antimicrobial resistance, it is important not to treat patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria unless there is evidence of potential benefit. Women who are pregnant should be screened for asymptomatic bacteriuria in the first trimester and treated, if positive. Treating asymptomatic bacteriuria in patients with diabetes, older persons, patients with or without indwelling catheters, or patients with spinal cord injuries has not been found to improve outcomes.


Otitis Externa: Review and Clinical Update - Article

ABSTRACT: Otitis externa can take an acute or a chronic form, with the acute form affecting four in 1,000 persons annually and the chronic form affecting 3 to 5 percent of the population. Acute disease commonly results from bacterial (90 percent of cases) or fungal (10 percent of cases) overgrowth in an ear canal subjected to excess moisture or to local trauma. Chronic disease often is part of a more generalized dermatologic or allergic problem. Symptoms of early acute and most chronic disease include pruritus and local discomfort. If left untreated, acute disease can be followed by canal edema, discharge, and pain, and eventually by extra-canal manifestations. Topical application of an acidifying solution is usually adequate in treating early disease. An antimicrobial-containing ototopical is the preferred treatment for later-stage acute disease, and oral antibiotic therapy is reserved for advanced disease or those who are immunocompromised. Preventive measures reduce recurrences and typically involve minimizing ear canal moisture, trauma, or exposure to materials that incite local irritation or contact dermatitis.


Screening and Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections in Pregnancy - Article

ABSTRACT: Many sexually transmitted infections are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends screening all pregnant women for human immunodeficiency virus infection as early as possible. Treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy can reduce transmission to the fetus. Chlamydia screening is recommended for all women at the onset of prenatal care, and again in the third trimester for women who are younger than 25 years or at increased risk. Azithromycin has been shown to be safe in pregnant women and is recommended as the treatment of choice for chlamydia during pregnancy. Screening for gonorrhea is recommended in early pregnancy for those who are at risk or who live in a high-prevalence area, and again in the third trimester for patients who continue to be at risk. The recommended treatment for gonorrhea is ceftriaxone 125 mg intramuscularly or cefixime 400 mg orally. Hepatitis B surface antigen and serology for syphilis should be checked at the first prenatal visit. Benzathine penicillin G remains the treatment for syphilis. Screening for genital herpes simplex virus infection is by history and examination for lesions, with diagnosis of new cases by culture or polymerase chain reaction assay from active lesions. Routine serology is not recommended for screening. The oral antivirals acyclovir and valacyclovir can be used in pregnancy. Suppressive therapy from 36 weeks' gestation reduces viral shedding at the time of delivery in patients at risk of active lesions. Screening for trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis is not recommended for asymptomatic women because current evidence indicates that treatment does not improve pregnancy outcomes.


Peritonsillar Abscess - Article

ABSTRACT: Peritonsillar abscess remains the most common deep infection of the head and neck. The condition occurs primarily in young adults, most often during November to December and April to May, coinciding with the highest incidence of streptococcal pharyngitis and exudative tonsillitis. A peritonsillar abscess is a polymicrobial infection, but Group A streptococcus is the predominate organism. Symptoms generally include fever, malaise, sore throat, dysphagia, and otalgia. Physical findings may include trismus and a muffled voice (also called "hot potato voice"). Drainage of the abscess, antibiotics, and supportive therapy for maintaining hydration and pain control are the foundation of treatment. Antibiotics effective against Group A streptococcus and oral anaerobes should be first-line therapy. Steroids may be helpful in reducing symptoms and speeding recovery. To avoid potential serious complications, prompt recognition and initiation of therapy is important. Family physicians with appropriate training and experience can diagnose and treat most patients with peritonsillar abscess. (Am Fam Physician.


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