10 Terminology of antimicrobial agents:

Terminology of antimicrobial agents

Sometimes we are confused about various terminology of antimicrobial agents. In this article, you will find all the definitions of terms of antimicrobial agents together. It will clear your confusion.

10 Terminology of antimicrobial agents:


Biocides are physical or chemical agents that are used as broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents to kill the pathogen. These are of two types- chemical biotypes or physical biotypes. Hydroxyl peroxide, alcohol, bleach, cycloheximide, and phenol are the example of chemical biocide. On the other hand, heat and radiation are examples of physical biocide.



Bacteriostatic is a microbial agent that inhibits the growth of microorganisms but doesn’t kill them. For example “bacteriostatic” and “fungistatic” are the microbial agent that suppress the growth of bacteria and fungus.



Bacteriocidal is microbial agents that kill the bacteria and this process is reversible. Other terms of this type of antimicrobial agents are fungicidal, sporicidal and virucidal.



Sterilization is a process in which any products have to be free from any viable microorganisms.



Disinfectants are any types of biocides that reduce the number of pathogenic microorganisms.



Antiseptic is a microbial agent that are used on living tissue (eg, skin) or biological fluid (eg, mucosal secretion) to inhibit the growth of microorganisms.


Aseptic is a process that makes any products contamination-free.

See More: The Scientist and the bacteria that contributed to establishing Israel


A process that prevents the growth of microorganisms in pharmaceutical products or foods.


Antibiotics are organic compounds that inhibit the growth of selective pathogens. These organic compounds may occur naturally or may be synthetically derived. These antibiotics may be specific to selective bacterial species or to a wide range of bacteria species.


The vaccine is killed microorganisms or attenuated microorganisms that prevent the growth of the virus.

For example, polio vaccine kills polio viruses.

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