Anti-infectives are drugs, which act on infectious agents. They can either kill an infection or stop it from spreading. Different drug classes belong to this category. Each of the classes is aimed at fighting different types of infections: antibiotics and antibacterial treat bacterial infections, antifungals treat mycoses, antivirals treat viral infections, and antiprotozoals treat diseases caused by protozoa. Implications of anti-infective drug use in modern medicine are ambiguous, as the nature of infectious pathogens questions the effectiveness of anti-infectious therapy.
Modern medicine is characterized by the extensive use of anti-infective drugs. They help to treat severe conditions caused by infections. However, infectious diseases remain the most common cause of death among populations of low-income nations. The organisms, which cause infectious diseases, have a strong ability to mutate and adjust to a new environment. This feature allows them to develop resistance to the drugs used to treat them. Though this specific characteristic of infectious pathogens has been well-known to medical workers since the beginning of usage of anti-infective drugs, rare healthcare workers paid attention to this problem. The abundant use of such drugs led to the development of strong resistance demonstrated by infectious agents nowadays (Bierbaum & Sahl, 2014, p. 1). The use of anti-infective drugs continues to save lives, but the resistance to them continues to grow. People create new anti-infective drugs, and the infections become adjustable to all of them. This trend has resulted in recent increases in infectious disease mortality worldwide and is considered one of the most dangerous public health problems. Such a situation puts a threat to the control of both infectious diseases that have been known for centuries (malaria, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections), and relatively new diseases (HIV). Treatment of seasonal infections is also at risk. The virus of influenza changes every year, and it is nearly impossible to find a universal cure for it. Despite the urgent need for new anti-infectious agents, various pharmaceutical companies have curtailed anti-infective research programs.
The current situation in modern medicine related to anti-infective drug resistance results in high demand for adjunctive therapy for this type of drug. Vaccination is considered the most effective method of adjunctive therapy aimed at reducing rates of infectious diseases. The timely usage of effective vaccines can lower the risks related to the current high drug resistance of viruses. The diseases, for which there are no preventive vaccines present the greatest threat to the health of people. Therefore, the development of new vaccines is of vital importance for reducing the rates of infectious diseases. The healthy style of living is another way of adjunctive therapy, which is often under-estimated. Modern medicine should focus on methods aimed at preventing factors that lead to the spread of infections. The methods include healthy eating habits, plenty of physical activities, appropriate nutrition, a high level of hygiene, etc. Promoting these aspects in the countries that are at risk of developing infectious diseases pandemics is considered adjunctive therapy that can save millions of lives. Infectious Disease Consultations are also regarded as an effective method of reducing rates of infections through employing preventive techniques (Kelkar & Galwankar, 2013, p. 44).
Though anti-infectives help to cure infectious diseases, their further use should be kept prudent. Modern medicine should focus on developing alternative anti-infectious therapies, as drug resistance presents a major threat to humans suffering from numerous infections.
Bierbaum, G., & Sahl, H. G. (2014).The search for new anti-infective drugs: Untapped resources and strategies. International Journal of Medical Microbiology, 304(1), 1-2.
Kelkar, D., & Galwankar, S. (2013). State of the Globe: Antimicrobial stewardship guides rationale use of antimicrobials to enable faster cure and prevent drug resistance. Journal of Global Infectious Diseases, 5(2), 43-44.