Pathogens that cause acute polymicrobial female pelvic infections usually do not differ from those that compose the normal flora of the lower reproductive tract. Accurate identification of these bacteria is difficult because cultures obtained via the lower tract can easily be contaminated. Although use of a double-lumen catheter-protected brush culture cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination, it is the least invasive method for obtaining culture material from the upper reproductive tract. Compounding the problem of accurately identifying pathogens that cause acute upper tract infections is the fact that bacteria appear to be present in the upper tracts of asymptomatic women with normal examinations. Because of these problems and because of the polymicrobial nature of these infections, empiric therapy frequently includes more than one antimicrobial agent. Newer, semisynthetic penicillins and cephalosporins have expanded spectrums of in vitro activity against most of the bacteria frequently recovered from pelvic infection sites. Comparative clinical trials have shown these agents to be as effective when used alone as is combination therapy. With few exceptions, empiric monotherapy with one of these newer antimicrobials will be curative for women with acute upper tract infection, will have less potential toxicity, will require less space, materials, and manpower to administer, and will be less expensive.
- expanded-spectrum penicillins
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology