(08-16-2010, 04:11 PM)protoxin Wrote: If antibiotics don't prevent against viral infections, why do we take antibiotics in viral fever?
An antibiotic against viral infection or viral fever is wrong terminology. Antibiotics are used for treatment against pathogenic bacteria (Disease causing bacteria) only and not viruses. Antibiotics are one of the types of antimicrobial. The another similar type of antimicrobial used against viruses is termed as Antiviral drugs. Therefore instead of using antibiotics against virus infection, it should be Antiviral drugs or simply Antiviral. Examples of some anti-viral drugs are Abacavir which is an anti-HIV drug. Trifluridine (Trifluorothymidine or TFT) is an anti-herpes virus antiviral drug, used primarily on the eye. Peramivir is used against influenza flu. Peramivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor, which prevent emerging of new viruses from infected host cells. Few other examples of anti viral drugs are Delavirdine, Enfuvirtide, Ganciclovir,Imunovir, Methisazone, etc.
If antibiotics are used for viral diseases/infection, the treatment may not be successful. This is because antibiotics are having different mode of actions on bacteria which are not suitable for viruses having unique characteristics with respect to their size, shape, plasmid biomolecules and life cycle. Sometimes bacteria infect humans and the viruses infect or live inside these bacteria. In such cases bacteria itself are killed by viruses which live inside them. These viruses are called as bacteriophages. In many treatments of bacterial infection, viruses are used. This is known as Phage therapy. Viruses are common in bacterial population and helps in control of their growth in different habitats like intestine, the ocean, and even in soil.
Therefore antibiotics are not used for treatment of viral diseases but they are anti viral drugs or Antiviral which act on different targets of viruses. These may be by interfering with the ability of viruses to infiltrate a target cell, use of viral entry inhibitor technique which make viruses unable to identify the receptors for their entry into host cells and thus control their infection and finally treat the patients from viral disease with the use of antiviral.