Question 9

List any five classes of antibiotics with anti-staphylococcal activity and provide one example of each class. Outline the mechanism of action and side effects of the five drugs.

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College Answer

In general, the question was well answered. Better answers provided examples of antibiotics from different categories of mechanism of action and were able to describe specific side effects relevant or unique to that antibiotic. Mechanisms of action that were generic in terms of site of action attracted fewer marks. Some examples of antibiotics that candidates provided were not anti-staphylococcal antibiotics (eg; Benzyl Penicillin, Clavulanic acid). The examiners commented that the use of a tabular format as an answer template resulted in answers scoring marks in most time efficient manner. Frequent omissions or commissions resulting in lost marks noted by the examiners were as follows; many papers showed a lack of detail regarding the precise mechanism of action of penicillins particularly around inhibition of transpeptidases whilst the use of non-specific side effects such as nausea vomiting and diarrhoea did not attract marks.