What is an antibiotic? Also, give three examples.
You may refer to the answer provided by your friend, i would like to add more
Antibiotics are chemicals produced by microorganisms which are capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of other microorganism. The microorganism that produce antibiotics are mostly bacteria but some fungi also produce it.The three examples of antibiotics are: Cephalosporin, Penicillin, Tetracycline etc.
@Others...Good work...Keep posting!
An antibiotic is a medicine which kills one specific type of pathogenic micro-organism (germ). This specific micro-organism is bacteria. Antibiotics are only effective on and approved for use to treat bacteria or to prevent a bacterial infection. An example of a bacterium that is common is Staphylococcus aureus ("Staph infection"). Different antibiotics work differently and on different types of bacteria, but the sole aim is to kill the bacteria causing the infection.
Antibiotics are not for treating infections caused by other micro-organisms, such as viruses (like a cold or flu) or fungi (like athlete's foot or the respiratory fungal infections). The term "Antibiotic" is only used for medicines to treat bacterial infections in today's lexicon.
Examples of a few common antibiotics are Penicillin, Z-Pak (azithromycin), and Cipro (ciprofloxacin), but there are hundreds in common usage. Before antibiotics, people could easily die from a toothache (abscess), appendicitis, or minor cuts that became infected.
Using antibiotics when ineffective or unnecessary enables the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
Antibiotics are not innocuous. They have toxicities and side effects. This means that antibiotics not only do no good in a viral infection, they actually can harm the patient. This is at odds with a fundamental precept of medicine: "First, do no harm".
Antibiotics kill the bacteria, therefore, they are called bactericidal agents. Some medicines only impair bacterial growth and are known as bacteriostatic agents or antibacterial agents. These are often used as topical medicines to treat a localized bacterial infection.
Another related term is anti-microbial which would encompass a larger group of microscopic pathogens including viruses and fungi, usually used to refer to those chemicals that kill germs on surfaces and objects, not used directly on the body.
More information re: antibiotics for viral infections:
- Antibiotics by definition are ineffective against viruses,
- Prescribing antibiotics when ineffective or unnecessary encourages the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains...don't ask your doctor for antibiotics for a common cold (viral infection),
- Antibiotics are not innocuous. They have toxicities and side effects. This means that antibiotics not only do no good in a viral infection, they actually harm the patient. This is fundamentally at odds with a fundamental precept of medicine: "First, do no harm",
- Sometimes antibiotics are given to treat or prevent a secondary bacterial infection when someone is seriously ill with influenza or other severe viral infections.
- Natural Penicillins are produced by fermentation of the fungus Penicillium notatum chrysogenum.
- Cephalolsporins are similar to penicillins and are made from a species of Cephalosporium.
- Bacitracin is an antibiotic produced by a Bacillus species. It prevents the growth of the cell wall.