What are Antimicrobials?

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What are Antimicrobials?

Antimicrobial is the name for a chemical that either kills or prevents the growth of microbes ('bugs' or 'germs') such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa. Some antimicrobials are produced by bugs themselves (e.g. penicillin is produced by the penicillium mould), others are designed in the laboratory. Different bugs are susceptible to different antimicrobials e.g. the penicillium mould is not killed by the penicillin it produces, but some bacteria are susceptible to penicillin.

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Date of Posting: 09/01/2003
Date of next Review: 07/01/2005

Related Questions:
What are Antibiotics?
How do Antibiotics work?
What are Antivirals?
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MeSH keywords:
Antibiotics; Anti-infective Agents; Antifungal Agents; Antiviral Agents; Antiprotozoals

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