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 [an″te-, an″ti-bi-ot´ik]
1. destructive of life.
2. a chemical substance produced by a microorganism that has the capacity, in dilute solutions, to kill other microorganisms or inhibit their growth. Antibiotics that are sufficiently nontoxic to the host are used as chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of infectious diseases. See also antimicrobial agent.
antineoplastic a's (antitumor a's) a class of antineoplastic agents that apparently affect the function or the synthesis, or both, of nucleic acids and thus are cell cycle nonspecific. See also antineoplastic therapy.
broad-spectrum antibiotic one that is effective against a wide range of bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative.
β-lactam antibiotic any of a group of antibiotics, including the cephalosporins and the penicillins, whose chemical structure contains a β-lactam ring.


(an'tē-bī-ot'ik), Avoid the jargonistic use of the plural antibiotics when the reference is to a single drug.
1. Relating to antibiosis.
2. Prejudicial to life.
3. A soluble substance derived from a mold or bacterium that kills or inhibits the growth of other microorganisms.


/an·ti·bi·ot·ic/ (-bi-ot´ik) a chemical substance produced by a microorganism, which has the capacity to inhibit the growth of or to kill other microorganisms; antibiotics sufficiently nontoxic to the host are used in the treatment of infectious diseases.
broad-spectrum antibiotic  one effective against a wide range of bacteria.
β-lactam antibiotic  any of a group of antibiotics, including the cephalosporins and the penicillins, whose chemical structure contains a β ring; they inhibit synthesis of the bacterial peptidoglycan wall.


(ăn′tĭ-bī-ŏt′ĭk, ăn′tī-)
A substance, such as penicillin or erythromycin, produced by or derived from certain microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms, especially bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
1. Of or relating to antibiotics.
2. Of or relating to antibiosis.
3. Destroying life or preventing the inception or continuance of life.

an′ti·bi·ot′i·cal·ly adv.


Etymology: Gk, anti + bios, life
1 pertaining to the ability to destroy or interfere with the development of a living organism.
2 an antimicrobial agent, derived from cultures of a microorganism or produced semisynthetically, used to treat infections. The penicillins, derived from species of the fungus Penicillium or manufactured semisynthetically, consist of a thiazolidine ring fused to a beta-lactam ring connected to side chains; these agents exert their action by inhibiting mucopeptide synthesis in bacterial plasma walls during multiplication of the organisms. Penicillin G is widely used to treat many gram-positive coccal infections. Aminoglycoside antibiotics, composed of amino sugars in glycoside linkage, interfere with the synthesis of bacterial proteins and are used primarily for treating infections caused by gram-negative organisms. The aminoglycosides include gentamicin sulfate derived from Micromonospora, semisynthetic amikacin sulfate, kanamycin sulfate, neomycin sulfate, streptomycin sulfate, and tobramycin sulfate. These agents commonly cause nephrotoxic and ototoxic reactions as well as GI disturbances. Macrolide antibiotics, consisting of a large lactone ring and deoxamino sugar, interfere in the protein synthesis of susceptible bacteria during multiplication without affecting nucleic acid synthesis. They are produced by actinomycetes or their derivatives, with the name derived from the large size of the molecules. Macrolides are generally used against gram-positive bacteria and in patients allergic to penicillins. Oleandomycin, which is added to feed to improve the growth of poultry and swine, and broad-spectrum erythromycin, used to treat various gram-positive and gram-negative infections and intestinal amebiasis, are macrolides derived from species of Streptomyces. Erythromycin may cause mild allergic reactions and GI discomfort, but nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea occur infrequently with the usual oral dose. Polypeptide antibiotics derived from species of Streptomyces or certain soil bacilli vary in their spectra; most agents are nephrotoxic and ototoxic. Bacitracin and vancomycin are polypeptides used to treat severe staphylococcal infections; capreomycin and vancomycin are antitubercular agents; and gramicidin is included in ointments for topical infections. Among polypeptide antibiotics effective against gram-negative organisms, colistin sulfate and neomycin sulfate are administered for diarrhea caused by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. The tetracycline antibiotics, including the prototype derived from Streptomyces, chlortetracycline HCl, demeclocycline HCl, doxycycline, minocycline HCl, and oxytetracycline, are active against a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms and some rickettsiae. Antibiotics in this group are primarily bacteriostatic and are thought to exert their effect by inhibiting protein synthesis in the organisms. Tetracycline therapy may cause GI irritation, photosensitivity, nephrotoxicity, and hepatotoxicity. Administering a drug of this group in patients during the last half of pregnancy or before 8 years of age may result in permanent discoloration of the teeth. The cephalosporin antibiotics, derived from the soil fungus Cephalosporium falciforme or produced semisynthetically, inhibit bacterial plasma wall synthesis and resist the action of penicillinase. Cephalosporins are similar in structure to penicillins except for a beta-lactam dihydrothiazine ring in place of beta-lactam thiazolidin in penicillin. They are used in treating infections of the respiratory tract, urinary tract, middle ear, and bones, as well as septicemia caused by a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. The group includes cefadroxil monohydrate, cefamandole nafate, cefazolin, cephalexin, cephaloglycin, cephaloridine, cephalothin sodium, cephapirin, and cephradine. Treatment with a cephalosporin may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, enterocolitis, or an allergic reaction, such as a rash, angioedema, or exfoliative dermatitis; use of antibiotics in this group is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to a penicillin. Chloramphenicol, a broad-spectrum antibiotic initially derived from Streptomyces venezuelae, inhibits protein synthesis in bacteria. Because the drug may cause life-threatening blood dyscrasias, its use is reserved for the treatment of acute typhoid fever, serious gram-negative infections (including meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae), and rickettsial diseases.


adjective Relating to the destruction of living things.

Herbal medicine
noun A herb said to kill or inhibit bacterial growth.
Mainstream medicine
(1) noun An agent obtained directly from a yeast or other organism and used against a bacterial infection.
(2) Any agent used to kill or reduce the growth of any infectious agent, including viruses, fungi and parasites.
Molecular biology
noun A substance that interferes with a particular step of cellular metabolism, causing either bactericidal or bacteriostatic inhibition; sometimes restricted to those having a natural biological origin.


adjective Relating to the destruction of living things noun Medtalk
1. An agent obtained directly from a yeast or other organism which is used against a bacterial infection.
2. Any agent used to kill or reduce the growth of any infectious agent, including viruses, fungi and parasites. See Drug resistance, Macrolide antibiotic, Polyene antibiotic Molecular biology A substance that interferes with a particular step of cellular metabolism, causing either bactericidal or bacteriostatic inhibition; sometimes restricted to those having a natural biological origin.


1. Relating to antibiosis.
2. Prejudicial to life.
3. Denotes any substance that acts against susceptible microorganisms.
4. Relating to such an action.


any substance produced by a microorganism that even in low concentrations can inhibit or kill other microorganisms. For example, PENICILLIN produced by the fungus Penicillium chrysogenum prevents the reproduction of many bacteria by preventing cell-wall synthesis. Antibiotics are frequently the products of secondary metabolism in that, while not of major importance, their formation presumably offers a selective advantage to the organism. The amount of antibiotic produced per gram of producer can be greatly enhanced by optimal culturing conditions and strong selection pressure over many generations. Unfortunately, most antibiotics are not lethal to viruses. Furthermore, continued use of an antibiotic against a generally susceptible strain of bacteria will favour survival of the few resistant members of the bacterial population, resulting eventually in an antibiotic-resistant strain.


A chemical substance produced by a microorganism which can inhibit the growth of or kill other microorganisms.


n a substance that combats bacterial infection by killing bacteria or stopping bacterial growth.


1. Pertaining to the ability to destroy or inhibit other living organisms.
2. A substance derived from a mould or bacterium, or produced synthetically, that destroys (bactericidal) or inhibits the growth (bacteriostatic) of other microorganisms and is thus used to treat infections. Some substances have a narrow spectrum of activity whereas others act against a wide range of both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms (broad-spectrum antibiotics). Antibiotics can be classified into several groups according to their mode of action on or within bacteria: (1) Drugs inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis, such as bacitracin, vancomycin and the β-lactams based agents (e.g. penicillin, cephalosporins (e.g. ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime). (2) Drugs affecting the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, such as polymyxin B sulfate and gramicidin. (3) Drugs inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis, such as aminoglycosides (e.g. amikacin sulfate, framycetin sulfate, gentamicin, neomycin sulfate and tobramycin), tetracyclines, macrolides (e.g. erythromycin and azithromycin) and chloramphenicol. (4) Drugs inhibiting the intermediate metabolism of bacteria, such as sulfonamides (e.g. sulfacetamide sodium) and trimethoprim. (5) Drugs inhibiting bacterial DNA synthesis, such as nalixidic acid and fluoroquinolones (e.g. ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin). (6) Other antibiotics such as fusidic acid, the diamidines, such as propamidine isethionate and dibrompropamidine. Syn. antibacterial. See antiinflammatory drug; fusidic acid.


(an'tē-bī-ot'ik) Avoid the jargonistic use of the plural antibiotics when the reference is to a single drug.
Soluble substance derived from a mold or bacterium that kills or inhibits growth of other microorganisms.

antibiotic (an´tibīot´ik),

n an organic substance produced by one of several microorganisms, especially certain molds, that is capable, in low concentration, of destroying or inhibiting the growth of certain other microorganisms.
antibiotic, oral reactions to,
n the manifestations on the oral mucous membrane of reactions to antibiotics; characterized by glossitis, angular cheilosis, and/or a hairy tongue. Reactions may result from an imbalance of oral flora produced by the antibiotics or from hypersensitivity to the antibiotics.
antibiotic prophylaxis
n the use of an antibiotic to protect a patient from an anticipated bacterial invasion associated with a medical or dental invasive procedure, particularly patients with a compromised cardiovascular system and risk of bacterial endocarditis.
antibiotic, subgingival placement,
n the administration of antimicrobials in the subgingival region to control bacterial infections and manage periodontal disease.
antibiotic therapy,
n See therapy, antibiotic.
  • Inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis
  • Alteration of membrane permeability
  • Inhibition of microbial DNA translation and transcription
  • Inhibition of essential metabolite synthesis
  • Penicillins
  • Cephalosporins
  • Bacitracins
  • Polymyxin B
  • Amphotericin B
  • Nystatin
  • Erythromycin
  • Tetracyclines
  • Streptomycin
  • Lincomycin
  • Kanamycin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Paraminosalicylic acid
  • Sulfonamides


1. destructive of life.
2. a chemical substance produced by a microorganism that has the capacity, in dilute solutions, to kill (biocidal activity) or inhibit the growth (biostatic activity) of other microorganisms. Antibiotics that are sufficiently nontoxic to the host are used as chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of infectious diseases. See also antimicrobial.
3. used as feed additives to animals as growth promotants.

anthracycline a's
a group of antibiotics which have a tetracycline ring structure substituted with the sugar daunosamine. Includes the antineoplastic drugs doxorubicin and daunorubicin.
antineoplastic antibiotic
bactericidal antibiotic
one that kills bacteria.
bacteriostatic antibiotic
one that suppresses the growth of bacteria.
broad-spectrum antibiotic
one that is effective against a wide range of bacteria.
antibiotic detection
on-farm and prepackaged laboratory tests available for testing farm products and animal tissues and fluids for antibiotic residues.
antibiotic drugs
the range includes the following groups: penicillin, aminoglycoside, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, macrolide, nitrofuran, cephalosporins, and a miscellaneous group including bacitracin, tyrothricin, polymyxin, colistin.
antibiotic feed additives
see feed additives.
first generation antibiotic
one produced as a natural product, e.g. penicillin G. See second generation antibiotic (below).
antibiotic food preservation
is a satisfactory technique but very strictly controlled because of the problem of residues in the food. Used mostly for the preservation of fish.
antibiotic-induced diarrhea
see pseudomembranous colitis, acute undifferentiated diarrhea of the horse.
antibiotic residue in food
in human food of animal origin is a seriously regarded pollution in public health surveillance. The residues may arise from systemic administration, or even after absorption from a local site such as the uterus, but the most serious contamination arises from milk from quarters that have been treated for mastitis. It is essential for the safety of the human population, the financial well-being of the farmer and the professional reputation of the veterinarian that antibacterial withdrawal times are observed.
antibiotic resistance
see antimicrobial resistance.
second generation antibiotic
produced by manipulation of the molecular structure of a first generation antibiotic (see above) so that the metabolism and pharmacodynamics of the original compound are significantly altered.
antibiotic sensitivity test
see antimicrobial sensitivity test.
antibiotic therapy
antibiotics vary in their absorption from the alimentary tract, requiring some, e.g. streptomycin, to be given parenterally for systemic effect, freedom from toxicity, the range of bacteria against which they are effective, their capacity to stimulate resistance and whether they are bacteriostatic or bactericidal in their effects. Selection of the most suitable antibiotic to suit a particular circumstance may be guided by an antimicrobial sensitivity test, knowledge of the infection present and the price of the drug. In many instances, because of lack of knowledge of the infection present it is necessary to choose an agent with a broad antibacterial spectrum.
antibiotic withdrawal, antibiotic withholding
see antibacterial withdrawal time.

Patient discussion about antibiotic

Q. Can I stop taking my Antibiotics? The Doctor prescribed me Antibiotics for 10 days. I have been taking them for 5 days and feel better. Can I stop taking them?

A. you need to take all of your pills,if not it could come back.

Q. Why Is it Important to Not Use Antibiotics Often? Why is my doctor always so reluctant to prescribe me antibiotics?

A. Antibiotic resistance has become a serious problem in both developed and underdeveloped nations. By 1984 half of those with active tuberculosis in the United States had a strain that resisted at least one antibiotic. In certain settings, such as hospitals and some childcare locations, the rate of antibiotic resistance is so high that the usual, low-cost antibiotics are virtually useless for treatment of frequently seen infections. This leads to more frequent use of newer and more expensive compounds, which in turn leads to the rise of resistance to those drugs. A struggle to develop new antibiotics ensues to prevent losing future battles against infection. Therefore the doctors try to avoid using antibiotics when it is not necessary, and try to keep a certain limited use of these medications.

Q. Do Antibiotics cure a cold? I have a cold and a runny nose, should I take Antibiotics?

A. Taking antbiotics when you only have a cold can harm your chances of the effectiveness of using antibiotics when you have a severe problem. Your body can build up an immunity to antibiotics so it is only recommended to take them when your immune system can't fight off the infections. Most of the time, a cold just needs to run it's course , so drinking plenty of fluids and resting can allow your body to rejuvinate and fight the cold. To help prevent colds and viruses, look for products that help to maintain a good immune system like vitamin C. Aloe juice is another good product for your immune system. When we deal with stress and don't get enough rest, we cause havoc on our immune system, so prevention can be the best thing to do. Wishing you well!

More discussions about antibiotic
References in periodicals archive ?
Conclusions: Although 700 Euro could be saved on average by performing SRP instead of surgery, the latter significantly reduced the need for supportive care and systemic antibiotics.
Antibiotics reduce the frequency of wound sepsis and although low wound sepsis rates have been reported with systemic antibiotics active against only anaerobes, the cumulative evidence favours a spectrum of antibacterial activity against both aerobic and anaerobic organisms.
There is also support for the use of both topical and systemic treatments to treat AOM or using the topical first and subsequently adding on a systemic antibiotic (Spiro et al.
How does a clinician know when to include systemic antibiotics in a treatment plan for nonsurgical periodontal therapy?
She had visited the outpatient clinic for several debridements and treatment with topical and systemic antibiotics.
Use of systemic antibiotics other than tetracyclines and macrolides is discouraged.
23) In one recent article in which the authors described the emergence of P aeruginosa resistant to topical ciprofloxacin in CSOM, there was no mention of whether the patients had received previous systemic antibiotic therapy, and no pretreatment microbiologic data were available.
Systemic antibiotic therapy with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus topical BP
The first four are rated on a 0-2 scale; 2 is added to the score if the patient is on systemic antibiotics, 0 if not.
If the drainage hasn't stopped by the time they come to the office, then I switch to a systemic antibiotic.
Anacor has discovered seven compounds that are currently in development including its lead compounds: tavaborole, a topical antifungal for the treatment of onychomycosis; AN2728, a topical anti-inflammatory PDE-4 inhibitor for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis; GSK '052 (formerly referred to as AN3365), a systemic antibiotic for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, which is licensed to GlaxoSmithKline; AN8194, which is licensed to Eli Lilly and Company for an undisclosed animal health application; and AN5568, which is licensed to Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative for sleeping sickness.
Biopharmaceutical company Anacor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ANAC) announced today that its partner, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been awarded a contract by the US Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the ongoing development of GSK2251052 (GSK '052), a novel boron-based Gram-negative systemic antibiotic discovered by Anacor.

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