Talk:Broad-spectrum antibiotic

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Perhaps a more comprehensive list of specific broad-spectrum antibiotics would be good (rather than just naming levofloxacin).

I added Imipenem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:46, 10 December 2011 (UTC)


Hello! I am planning on editing this article over the next month as part of a class assignment in partnership with WikiProject Medicine. I am a medical student and have been trying to consolidate my understanding of broad spectrum antibiotics and feel this would be a great way to do so. I am proposing the following edits to the page. Please feel free to give me feedback on this plan!

Analysis of current article state: Although this article has many strengths. Currently, the article is simple, unbiased and uses appropriate sources, but is incomplete and not user-friendly. First, the lead section, though technically correct, does not help a lay individual understand how and why broad-spectrum antibiotics (BSAs) are used. Additionally, the lead section is not clear in its definition; are BSAs defined by their action against multiple groups of bacteria, or just gram positive and gram negative coverage? The uses section could be expanded to give more specific examples and discuss what BSAs are used for different situations. A section concerning the evidence surrounding their reduction in morbidity/mortality is missing. A section for each of the major BSAs would be useful. Although some risks are discussed, their major problem (poor antimicrobial stewardship) is not discussed.

Proposed changes: I would like to refine the lead to me more helpful at “first glance” to both lay individuals and those in the medical profession. What are BSAs? When and why are they used, and what are the risks? I plan on adding a section quickly summarizing the different groups of bacteria. Then, I would like to add sections for each of the major groups of BSAs, as well as a section (briefly) summarizing empiric antibiotic selection (with a link to the article on the topic). I would also like to create a large table that summarizes the coverage of major antibiotics against different bacteria. This image could then be used on different relevant Wikipedia pages. Lastly, I’d like to refine the “risks” section and include a discussion of antimicrobial stewardship. I would like to remove the “list” of broad spectrum antibiotics, as this should be covered by the aforementioned paragraphs.

Plan: I would like to use this “Talk” section to continue updating my progress throughout this project. I will have changed the lead section by 12/3/17. I will add the sections on types of BSAs and the image by 12/7/17. I will add the antimicrobial stewardship section by 12/11/17. I will complete the project on 12/15/17. Akinesia (talk) 08:07, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Akinesia. Tremendous thanks for taking on the job of improving the BSA article. The shortcomings you cite are, sadly, typical of many, if not most, Wikipedia articles on pharmaceuticals, especially having a weak lead section. I wish you a pleasant editing experience and thank you again for your "kinesis."--Quisqualis (talk) 16:11, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Peer Review
Hey Akinesia, here are some quick thoughts on your article:

- Does a good job briefly introducing the topic. Summarizes most of the article. Clearly written.
- You could consider adding a brief sentence about risks here to capture that part of the article in the lead
- Has a few punctuation errors (missing comma after gram-negative bacteria & extra comma before or)

- Overall, the article was well-organized, content was mostly relevant and balanced, and the tone was generally neutral and appropriate for an encyclopedia entry. A person unfamiliar with the topic would learn a lot from this article.

Here are some specific suggestions to consider that might improve the article:
- Limit use of our jargon. E.g., 'poor patient outcomes' might not be clear to someone who doesn't know the natural history of bacterial infection. Say what will actually happen if treatment is delayed, something like 'worsening infection with spread to other parts of the body'
- Uses section needs citations
- Bacterial targets section: not clear, initially, why this is included here. An introductory sentence tying this section to the topic might be useful, otherwise this seems like a separate article on bacteria morphology as someone begins reading it. You might move the "Antibiotics are often grouped..." sentence to the top, more briefly discuss these groups (like no more than two short sentences, people can read more at the gram stain section etc if they want, doesn't need to be discussed here), and spend most of the time discussing how these abx are able to broadly kill or arrest growth of bacteria
- The word 'aspire' in "Clinicians aspire" sounds non-neutral to me. I think the words 'aspire to' could be cut out.
- Link to the article on 'Antibiotic sensitivity' for antibiogram rather than make it bold. Lose the parentheses. Consider eliminating as many parentheses as possible in the article.
- At the end, I think a general reader would like to hear how we actually limit antimicrobial resistance beyond that that we're doing it.

Wrote this quickly (apologies if anything sounds curt/bossy, not my intention) and hope you find it somewhat helpful. Joshuanoel (talk) 19:54, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Dear Joshuanoel, Thank you for all the suggestions - I agree completely. Also, thank you for the feedback (over SMS) on the diagram I created.

Akinesia (talk) 07:52, 15 December 2017 (UTC)