Chemotherapeutic Challenges (Antimicrobials) (CCH)


Workshop Outline
Antimicrobial agents comprise one of the most widely prescribed classes of drugs and several factors must be considered if antimicrobial therapy is to be successful. The most important factor is that the infecting organism must be susceptible to the chemotherapeutic agent selected. This means the physician should know to a high level of certainty the most likely pathogen(s) causing the infection and its likely sensitivity to available drugs. Under ideal circumstances the organism will have been cultured and subjected to sensitivity testing to establish antibiotic candidates for appropriate therapy. In many cases, however, it is not possible to know the exact infecting organism and its sensitivity to various drugs prior to initiating chemotherapy. In these circumstances, the physician must not only make an educated presumption of the pathogen and its sensitivity to antibiotics, but the site of the infection, the most appropriate route of administration, the dose, duration of therapy, and the cost must be considered.

This POPS exercise contains examples of infectious diseases where culture of the infecting agent and subsequent sensitivity testing is not feasible. For these infections, therefore, knowledge of the pathogen and its treatment is paramount in obtaining a satisfactory resolution or control of the disease process.

Learning Goals for the CCH Workshop