What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacterial infections and prevent their rampant growth and multiplication. They are quite effective against strep throat, urinary tract infection and diseases caused by Escherichia coli. 

A (2021) study has shown that antibiotics are of two types: bactericidal and bacteriostatic. In simple words, bactericidal kills bacteria and bacteriostatic prevents the growth of bacteria. However, this definition cannot be so simple. We need to understand the importance of bactericidal and bacteriostatic activities in terms of MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) and MBC (Minimum Bactericidal Concentration).

The lowest level of antibiotics needed to inhibit visible bacterial growth at 24 hours is called MIC, while the lowest levels of antibiotics needed to reduce the bacterial density by 1000-fold at 24 hours are called MBC.

A study has shown that bacteriostatic activity is defined by an MBC to MIC ratio which has to be greater than 4. Whereas, bactericidal activity is defined by an MBC to MIC ratio which is less than or equal to 4.

Even though antibiotics are beneficial, you must consider taking antibiotics only when necessary. It is because they have side effects that may cause antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to defeat the drugs specifically designed to kill them. Developing resistance to antibiotics is a serious issue because it can lead to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality. A study has shown that the production of new antibiotics is challenging and often hindered by expensive research and development issues.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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