An understanding of the bacteria that cause disease is necessary if you are to prescribe antibiotic treatment. While there are hundreds of bacteria, there are relatively few that that cause most of the problems in people. They can be classified into four classes: gram positive, gram negative, anaerobes and others.
Gram positive bacteria include:
- Staphylococcus: Causes boils, abscesses, impetigo, wound infections, bone infections, pneumonia, food poisoning and septicaemia.
- Streptococcus: Causes Strep pneumoniae and the Strep pyogenes. Strep pneumoniae causes pneumonia, ear infections, sinusitis, meningitis, septic arthritis and bone infections. Strep pyogenes causes sore throats, impetigo, scarlet fever, cellulitis, septicaemia and necrotising fasciitis.
Gram negative bacteria include:
- Neisseria meningitides: Causes bacterial meningitis and may also cause pneumonia and septicaemia. Can be rapidly fatal.
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Causes gonorrhea.
- Moxella catarrhalis: Causes ear and sinus infections, also chronic bronchitis exacerbations.
- Haemophilus influenzea: Causes meningitis (especially in children under 5), epiglottis, cellulitis and a sub group cause chest infections.
- Escherichia coli: Causes urinary infections, severe gastroenteritis, peritonitis (from bowel injury), septicaemia.
- Proteus sp.: Causes UTIs, peritonitis (from bowel injuries), wound infections.
- Bacteroides sp.: Causes infections following injury to the bowel or in wound contamination and causes abscess formation.
- Clostridium sp.: Produces spores and toxins.
- C. perfringens/C.septicum: Causes gangrene.
- C.tetani or tetanus: In tetanus and botulism, the damage is from toxins, not the bacteria themselves.
- C. botulinum. Causes botulism.
- C. difficille. Causes diarrhea following antibiotics.
Bacteria that fall into the “other” category include:
- Chlamydia sp. ( C.pneumonia): Causes a type of atypical pneumonia.
- C.trachomatis: Causes the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.
- Mycoplasma pneumonia: Causes atypical pneumonia.
The list of antibiotics and the bacteria they treat most effectively is:
- Penicillin: For Streptococcal infections, pneumococcal infections, anaerobic infections “above the diaphragm” such as abscessed teeth. This drug is relatively cheap and causes fewer side effects such as diarrhea and vaginitis. Unfortunately, streptococci and pneumococci are increasingly antibiotic resistant.
- Ampicillin or Amoxicillin: For urinary, middle ear, and lower respiratory infection. This is a broader spectrum penicillin. Staphylococci are usually resistant. Is also available in suspension for children who cannot swallow amoxicillin capsules.
- Erythromycin ethylsuccinate: For pneumonia or Streptococcal sore throat. It is also of some benefit in Staphylococcal skin infections.
- Tetracycline: For plague and various other insect-borne infections, urinary infections, bronchitis, infected animal bites, some venereal diseases and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Pregnant women and young children should avoid using this drug, if possible. A more expensive drug in this class is doxycycline. Doxycycline has fewer gastrointestinal side effects and is better absorbed than tetracycline with food in the stomach, but is more likely to sensitize the skin to sunlight.
- Metronidazole: Very effective against certain protozoans, including amoebae and Giardia, and for anaerobic bacteria such as those that normally inhabit the bowel and the female genital tract. It can be extremely useful in intra-abdominal, pelvic and wound infections caused by such bacteria.
- Chloramphenicol: For anaerobic infections, typhoid and other Salmonella infections, psittacosis, rickettsial infections, or meningitis due to Hemophilus or Meningococcus. This drug is very well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and penetrates well into the cerebrospinal fluid (hence, its value in meningitis). However, it causes fatal aplastic anemia in about one in 50,000 persons treated with it, and some drug companies have stopped manufacturing it.
- Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole DS (Bactrim, Septra): For urinary infections and some types of bacterial diarrhea or as a back-up drug for sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections (for resistant organisms or allergic patients).
Some other drugs to have on hand — if you can get them — and their uses are:
- Adrenalin: To treat acute anaphylaxis or drug or other allergy such as bee sting, or for a severe asthma attack.
- Prednisone: For severe cases of asthma, poison ivy, sunburn and allergic reactions; but it is not a substitute for epinephrine because the response is not fast enough. Use with great caution because steroids depress the immune response, among other side effects; however, the drug can be life-saving.
- Theophylline preparation: For asthma. Combinations with ephedrine (such as Theodrine), while out of favor these days, may be much cheaper. Theophylline is being used much less often. Tea contains a little theophylline.
- Prochlorperazine: For nausea and vomiting, this drug also may be of some value in acute psychosis.
- Phenobarbitol: As a sedative. Caution: Barbiturate addiction is very dangerous; fatal withdrawal reactions have occurred.
- Xylocaine 1 percent or 2 percent: As a local anesthesia.
- Acetaminophen with codeine: As a pain reliever in combination with acetaminophen (or aspirin). It also relieves severe cough.
- Proparicaine ophthalmic solution 0.5 percent: Will anesthetize the cornea of a patient with a foreign body in his eye. Use only once to enable you to remove the foreign body. Continued use may allow severe damage to the eye to occur without the patient’s awareness.
- Nalbuphine hydrochloride: For relief of severe pain. This drug is considered to have less potential for abuse than morphine because it is also a narcotic antagonist (that is, it will cause acute withdrawal in an addict).
- Hydrochlorthiazide: Helps to control high blood pressure or congestive heart failure.
- Nitroglycerin 11150 gr: Helps to relieve angina (heart pain).
- Lanoxin (digoxin) 0.25 mg: Good for certain cardiac conditions such as congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation with rapid heart rate.
- Atropine 0.5 mg/cc (30 cc): Because it speeds the heart rate, this drug is useful in some heart attack victims if they have a profound decrease in pulse. More importantly, it is an antidote to many poisons (such as organophosphate insecticides, some poisonous mushrooms and chemical warfare agents such as tabun and sarin).
And don’t forget the medicines you and your family take every day. You should have a year’s supply of any prescription drug needed. Rotate each year. This is especially important for drugs with a short shelf life, such as insulin. (Insulin lasts about six months at room temperature, but for only two to six weeks at 80 degrees F.)
Finally, don’t forget to have a good supply of common, everyday over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen for fever and pain relief, Kaopectate for diarrhea, Pepto Bismol or Mylanta for stomach maladies, diphenhydramine for insect bites and allergic reactions, cortisone cream for insect bites and skin allergies, and antihistamines for respiratory allergies.
Until the beginning of the development of modern antibiotics in the 1940s, colloidal silver was the natural antibiotic of choice and had been for 50 years. Pharmaceutical antibiotics looked like miracles because, in the beginning, there were no antibiotic-resistant strains of disease organisms. There was a lot of excitement over the new wonder drugs. So naturally, colloidal silver disappeared into the memory hole.
But as there are more and more resistant strains to antibiotics, colloidal silver is reappearing. There is no doubt about the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of colloidal silver. It is very effective against bacterial infections like Strep throat and flu and fungal infections like Candida.
Germs can’t escape colloidal silver no matter how much they mutate. And colloidal silver doesn’t harm good bacteria. There are no known risks to using colloidal silver internally or externally.