Show Summary Details
Page of

Anaerobic bacteria 

Anaerobic bacteria
Chapter:
Anaerobic bacteria
Author(s):

Anilrudh A. Venugopal

, and David W. Hecht

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0115
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 February 2021

Anaerobic bacteria will not grow when incubated with 10% CO2 in room air, but they vary in their tolerance of different levels of oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria are important commensal flora of the skin and oral, intestinal, and pelvic mucosae, and are classified according to their Gram-staining characteristics and ability to produce spores: (1) Gram-positive—cocci, non-spore-forming bacilli, and spore-forming bacilli (notably the Clostridium spp.); (2) Gram-negative—cocci and bacilli. Many anaerobic bacteria possess virulence factors that facilitate their pathogenicity (e.g. histolytic enzymes and various toxins). A putrid odour of the affected tissue or drainage is highly suggestive of an anaerobic infection, as is the presence of gas in tissues. Aside from supportive care, treatment requires drainage of abscesses and resection of devitalized tissue; and antibiotics—agents that are active against anaerobes include clindamycin, metronidazole, vancomycin, β‎-lactam/β‎-lactamase inhibitor combinations, carbapenems, moxifloxacin, tigecycline, chloramphenicol, and even macrolides.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.