When any antimicrobial drug is used, there is usually suppression of part of the normal bacterial flora of the patient which is susceptible to the drug. Often, this causes no ill effects, but sometimes a drug-resistant organism, freed from competition, proliferates to an extent which allows an infection to be established. The principal organisms responsible are Candida albicans and pseudomonads. But careful clinical assessment of the patient is essential, as the mere presence of such organisms in diagnostic specimens taken from a site in which they may be present as commensals does not necessarily mean they are causing disease.

TABLE 1 1.1 Reference data on antimicrobial drugs of choice

Infecting organism

Drug(s) of first choice

Alternative drugs

Gram-positive cocci

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