metronidazole is an antimicrobial agent with a broad spectrum of activity against anaerobic bacteria, protozoa, and some aerobic bacteria. Its mechanism of action involves the inhibition of DNA synthesis, leading to the death of susceptible organisms.
The spectrum of activity of metronidazole includes the following:
Anaerobic bacteria: metronidazole is highly effective against anaerobic bacteria, including Bacteroides fragilis, Clostridium species, and Peptostreptococcus species.
Protozoa: metronidazole is effective against protozoa, including Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, and Trichomonas vaginalis.
Aerobic bacteria: metronidazole has activity against some aerobic bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, but its efficacy against these organisms is generally lower than against anaerobic bacteria.
In addition to its antimicrobial activity, metronidazole also has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, which may contribute to its effectiveness in treating some infections.
metronidazole is commonly used to treat a variety of infections, including:
Bacterial vaginosis: metronidazole is the first-line treatment for bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria.
Trichomoniasis: metronidazole is the first-line treatment for trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis.
Intra-abdominal infections: metronidazole is commonly used in combination with other antibiotics to treat intra-abdominal infections, such as peritonitis and abscesses.
Dental infections: metronidazole is sometimes used to treat dental infections, particularly those caused by anaerobic bacteria.
Helicobacter pylori infection: metronidazole is used in combination with other antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors to treat Helicobacter pylori infection, which is a common cause of peptic ulcers.