oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Choice of Antibiotic

Volume 21, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A new criterion for the choice of an antibiotic is proposed - that of maximum percentage sensitivity. This entails firstly an accurate clinical diagnosis of the organism responsible for the infection: the approach to this problem is discussed. Secondly, by the use of percentage sensitivity tables, which list the common organisms and the percentage sensitivities to the usual antibiotics used; a choice is made of the antibiotic with the highest percentage sensitivity. The tables are constructed by an analysis of the results of sensitivity tests of a statistically adequate number of bacterial strains. The tables not only point to the antibiotic of choice, but they warn against the use of antibiotics which may have enjoyed great popularity in the past, and which may still do so, but which are no longer suitable because of low percentage sensitivity: the most important examples of these are sulphonamides, ampicillin and tetracycline in the treatment of coliform infections, and penicillin and ampicillin in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.

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