Principles of antimicrobial chemotherapy

The following principles, many of which apply to drug therapy in general, are a guide to good practice with antimicrobial agents.

Make a diagnosis as precisely as is possible and define the site of infection, the organism(s) responsible and their sensitivity to drugs. This objective will be more readily achieved if all relevant biological samples for the laboratory are taken before treatment is begun. Once antimicrobials have been administered, isolation of the underlying organism may be inhibited and its place in diagnostic samples may be taken by resistant, colonizing bacteria which obscure the true causative pathogen.

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