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Re: Antibiotics and mouth fungus

It is important to note that the terms "Gram negative or Gram positive" apply 
only to bacteria, not fungi.   Fungi are not bacteria; they belong in a 
different category of microorganism.  Care should be taken to differentiate 
whether you are dealing with a bacteria or a fungi not to intermingle the 
terms, because the treatment for one is not necessarily ideal for treating 
the other.  When treating fungi, what is desired is an antifungal agent, 
which may or may not be an antibiotic.  Ciprofloxacin is one of the few 
antibiotics that do have some anti-fungal activity.  However, you will 
probably have better results if you choose a medication specifically tailored 
to attack fungi.  Also, Cipro kills the cycle bacteria ("the good guys"), 
which could cause more problems than you wanted.  Also, my last box of 
Maracyn contained Erythromycin, not Amoxicillin.  Both are primarily 
effective mainly against Gram Positive bacteria, and much less so against 
Gram negative bacteria or fungi.  Some common Gram positive bacteria would 
include Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, usually found in septicemia (red 
streaks in the fish).  Some Gram negative bacteria of interest to fishkeepers 
would include coliforms (fecal bacteria) such as E. coli and the cycle 
bacteria, Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrobacter sp.  And yes, Sulfa based drugs 
are quite effective against Gram negative bacteria... at least, in fish.  
They have been surpassed by other antimicrobials in human medicine and are 
rarely, if ever, prescribed for human use these days. 

>Spoke at length today with a Pathologist regarding the potential treatment
>of my tetra mouth fungus problem. The first question I was asked was if the
>bacteria I was trying to treat was  gram negative or gram positive. The
>advice I got was that if you identify a gram negative bacteria you are
>wasting your time with amoxicillin (AKA maracyn).  Recommended for gram
>negative bacteria was a sulpha based antibiotic.  I was told the most
>effective way to treat gram negative bacteria was with Ciprofloxin.  Being
>almost sure that I have an issue with columnaris (Gram Negative) I am
>going to treat some of the remaining fish with some Cipro as a test. (Don't
>throw out those unused prescriptions)

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