- 86 Downloads
Antibiotics are low-molecular substances, which exhibit a harmful effect on bacterial cells. As other anti-infective agents, e.g., antivirals (targeting viruses) or antihelminthics (targeting parasitic worms), antibiotics are used as drugs to treat humans in the context of infections with bacterial pathogens. However, pets and livestock are also treated with antibiotics to cure and prevent bacterial infections. Antibiotics should be differentiated from antiseptics, which are used as prophylaxis to remove bacteria from living tissue like the human skin, and disinfectants, which are applied to reduce the bacterial load on nonliving objects (McDonnell and Russell 1999).
A Brief History of Antibiotics
Herbal medicines and the application of molds for the treatment of sickness have been traced back to ancient cultures, e.g., the Nubians in 300 BC (Nelson et al. 2010). However, the conscious application of pure antibiotics as drugs is a rather recent development. The German...
KeywordsAntibiotics Anti-infectives Antimicrobials Drugs Infection Bacteria
- Nelson, M. L., Dinardo, A., Hochberg, J., & Armelagos, G. J. (2010). Brief communication: Mass spectroscopic characterization of tetracycline in the skeletal remains of an ancient population from Sudanese Nubia 350–550 CE. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 143(1), 151–154. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.21340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- O’Neill, J. (2016). Antimicrobial resistance: tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. Rev Antimicrob Resist. Retrieved from https://amr-review.org/Publications.html
- Otero, L. H., Rojas-Altuve, A., Llarrull, L. I., Carrasco-Lopez, C., Kumarasiri, M., Lastochkin, E., … Hermoso, J. A. (2013). How allosteric control of Staphylococcus aureus penicillin binding protein 2a enables methicillin resistance and physiological function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(42), 16808–16813. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1300118110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jason, C., & Gallagher, C. M. (2017). Antibiotics simplified (4th ed.). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN-10: 1284111296.Google Scholar