Antiseptics and Antibiotics
Many plants make chemicals that help to protect them from attacks by bacterial pathogens.
These chemicals are called antibacterials.
We use some of these to protect us from infections.
The effects of antiseptics or antibiotics on the growth of microorganisms can be studied on a petri dish.
Antibiotics kill all but the most resistant bacteria. If they get into the enviroment then they can cause antibiotic-resistant infections. The risk of more people getting antibiotic resistant infection can be reduce if
- Antibiotics are used when essential (eg not for viral infections)
- each course of antibiotics is completed, so that the antibiotics and the immune system kill all the resistant bacteria.
Missuse of antibiotics has led to the development of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics, such as MRSA
Antibiotic - chemical taken as medicine that kills some kinds of microorganisms or stop them from growing, after they have infected the body.
Antibacterial - general name for chemical that kills bacteria or stops them growing.
Antifungal - chemical that kills fungi or stops them growing.
antiseptics - chemical used to prevent infection by killing pathogens on surfaces before they can get into the body.
REMEMBER: ANTIBIOTICS TREAT PATHOGENS INSIDE THE BODY, ANTISEPTICS PREVENT INFECTIONS BY KILLING THE PATHIGENS OUTSIDE THE BODY.