PMID: 12000621May 10, 2002

Introduction of biocides into clinical practice and the impact on antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Journal of Applied Microbiology
A D Russell

Abstract

Biocides and other antimicrobial agents have been employed for centuries. Much later, iodine found use as a wound disinfectant, chlorine water in obstetrics, alcohol as a hand disinfectant and phenol as a wound dressing and in antiseptic surgery. In the early part of the twentieth century, other chlorine-releasing agents (CRAs), and acridine and other dyes were introduced, as were some quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs, although these were only used as biocides from the 1930s). Later still, various phenolics and alcohols, formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide were introduced and subsequently (although some had actually been produced at an earlier date) biguanides, iodophors, bisphenols, aldehydes, diamidines, isocyanurates, isothiazolones and peracetic acid. Antibiotics were introduced clinically in the 1940s, although sulphonamides had been synthesized and used previously. After penicillin came streptomycin and other aminoglycosides-aminocyclitols, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, macrolides, semi-synthetic beta-lactams, glycopeptides, lincosamides, 4-quinolones and diaminopyrimidines. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is causing great concern. Mechanisms of such resistance include cell impermeability, target site mutation, dr...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Microbicides, Topical
Antibiotics
Bacterial Infections
Infections, Hospital
Biocides
Antibiotic Resistance, Bacterial

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