Antimicrobial Prophylaxis in Adults

Enzler, Mark J.; Berbari, Elie; Osmon, Douglas R.
July 2011
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Jul2011, Vol. 86 Issue 7, p686
Academic Journal
Antimicrobial prophylaxis is commonly used by clinicians for the prevention of numerous infectious diseases, including herpes simplex infection, rheumatic fever, recurrent cellulitis, meningococcal disease, recurrent uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in patients with cirrhosis, influenza, infective endocarditis, pertussis, and acute necrotizing pancreatitis, as well as infections associated with open fractures, recent prosthetic joint placement, and bite wounds. Perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis is recommended for various surgical procedures to prevent surgical site infections. Optimal antimicrobial agents for prophylaxis should be bactericidal, nontoxic, inexpensive, and active against the typical pathogens that can cause surgical site infection postoperatively. To maximize its effectiveness, intravenous perioperative prophylaxis should be administered within 30 to 60 minutes before the surgical incision. Antimicrobial prophylaxis should be of short duration to decrease toxicity and antimicrobial resistance and to reduce cost.


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