Microbes in Pharmacy

Microbes play an important role in pharmacy.   Most microbes are benign or beneficial to humans and only a small percentage is pathogenic. Bacteriophages for example are therapeutical viruses that attack pathogenic bacteria; strains of Escherichia coli bacteria have been genetically modified to produce human insulin.
Aseptic techniques are a set of specific work practices performed in the pharmacy to minimize contamination and to keep microbial growth under control. These practices are vital when preparing sterile preparations. Direct or physical contact of critical sites with microbial contaminants poses a great probability of risk to patients with weakened immune system. Therefore following the proper disinfecting techniques with suitable disinfectant products, performing appropriate hand washing and wearing the right protective clothing are essential.
Pathogenic bacteria are treated by antibiotics; they work by targeting the peptodoglycan found in bacterial cell walls without harming the human host. Antibiotics are produced from a range of microbes including Actinobacteria and fungi such as Penicillium.
Vancomycin injection for oral use is occasionally dispensed in our pharmacy.   Vancomycin treats infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile. It causes problems usually in people taking a broad array of antibiotics for a long time, because these medicines destroy the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, resulting in severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain and blood in the faeces.
Vancomycin is generally used only after treatment with less toxic antibiotics had failed and only in serious infections as the incorrect use of antibiotics: using them frequently for minor infections, not taking high enough doses or not completing the entire length of a course can increase the chance of genetic alteration and a resistant strain of bacteria evolving.
There is a protocol to be followed in our hospital when dispensing Vancomycin. The...