The first-generation cephalosporins have activity against most of the bacterial pathogens that colonize skin and infect wounds. Consequently, first-generation cephalosporins are useful in antimicrobial prophylaxis before surgery. Second-generation cephalosporins are used to treat infections caused by susceptible organisms. For example, cefoxitin and cefotetan have good anaerobic activity, and they have utility in the treatment and prophylaxis of lower abdominal and gynecological infection. A broad spectrum of antibacterial activity makes third-generation cephalosporins important in the treatment of a wide range of infections, including Lyme disease, pneumonia, peritonitis, and sepsis syndrome.
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