Definitions for antimicrobial
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word antimicrobial
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
disinfectant, germicide, antimicrobic, antimicrobial(adj)
an agent (as heat or radiation or a chemical) that destroys microorganisms that might carry disease
capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of disease-causing microorganisms
an agent that destroys microbes, inhibits their growth, or prevents or counteracts their pathogenic action
tending to destroy or capable of destroying microbes
inhibiting the growth of microbes
preventing or counteracting the pathogenic action of microbes
An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial medicines can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. For example, antibacterials are used against bacteria and antifungals are used against fungi. They can also be classed according to their function. Antimicrobials that kill microbes are called microbicidal; those that merely inhibit their growth are called microbiostatic. Disinfectants such as bleach are non-selective antimicrobials. Use of substances with antimicrobial properties is known to have been common practice for at least 2000 years. Ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks used specific molds and plant extracts to treat infection. More recently, microbiologists such as Louis Pasteur and Jules Francois Joubert observed antagonism between some bacteria and discussed the merits of controlling these interactions in medicine. In 1928, Alexander Fleming became the first to discover a natural antimicrobial fungus known as penicillium rubens. He named the substance extracted from the fungus penicillin and in 1942 it was successfully used to treat a streptococcus infection. Penicillin also proved successful in the treatment of many other infectious diseases such as gonorrhea, strep throat and pneumonia, which were potentially fatal to patients up until then.
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"antimicrobial." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 2 Sep. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/antimicrobial>.