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(Science: pharmacology) a chemical substance produced by a microorganism which has the capacity, in dilute solutions, to inhibit the growth of or to kill other microorganisms.

antibiotics that are sufficiently nontoxic to the host are used as chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of infectious diseases of man, animals and plants.

Origin: gr. Bios = life Of or relating to antibiotic drugs.A chemical substance derivable from a mold or bacterium that kills microorganisms and cures infections; when antibiotics were first discovered they were called wonder drugs.Antibiotics are used in medicine due to their capability of inhibiting or neutralising alien agents that enter the human body. Antibiotics are naturally produced by organisms as a means of defense and hence survival. Through natural selection, organisms that fall prey to antibiotics begin to develop a resistance, and the effects of the antibiotics diminish over time until the organisms are immune to its effect.

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