Help needed:Antiobiotics and health questions

ja.child at ja.child at
Mon Apr 20 17:05:36 EST 1998

The choice of an antibiotic to treat pneumonia within the first 24 hours is empirical, and is really an educated guess,  based on the patients' clinical history, signs, symptoms, chest X-ray appearance etc,  and most importantly,  knowledge of the LOCALl sensitivity patterns of the most likely causative agents.   A positive Ziehl-Neelsen or auramine stain of the sputum for  mycobacteria may suggest TB.   
  For confirmation, as yet  nothing can really replace culture and sensitivity testing.   In the UK, blood agar, chocolate agar and further selective plates eg) for legionella are used.    Gram staining of the sputum is contreversial.
Serology for the atypical pneumonias may be helpful, but takes time.

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