The prevention and treatment of microbial infections are important components of the surgeon’s clinical practice. Patients may first present to a surgeon because of an infection requiring drainage or some other form of surgical treatment. In addition, postoperative infections are among the most common complications of surgical therapy, even in patients whose original problem was noninfectious in nature. For these reasons, it is important for the surgeon to have an understanding of the basic pathophysiology of infection, as well as the fundamental principles of management, including antibiotic therapy.