The use of sulfonamides in the pharmacotherapy of infectious diseases of humans and animals and the associated environmental risk


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Sulfonamides are one of the oldest antibacterial drugs that remain still in use in humans and animals treatment. These compounds block the biosynthesis of folate in bacterial cells, thus inhibiting growth of bacteria. In order to potentiate the pharmacological activity, sulfonamides are often combined with trimethoprim. The role of those bacteriostatic agents has decreased over the years, mainly due to increasing bacterial resistance which is an effect of the inappropriate use of sulfonamides. There are still several compounds which are administered in humans to treat not only bacterial infections, but also protozoan ones (e.g. toxoplasmosis), for instance sulfamethoxazole, sulfacetamide, sulfathiazole. More number of sulfonamides is used in veterinary. According to this fact, there is a considerable adverse effect of those compounds on the environment: sulfonamides, after having been excreted from animal organisms, are present in soil and water, including groundwater. Hence there is a strong need to find effective methods of sulfonamides degradation in order to protect the environment