Confused and have questions? We’ve got answers. With Chegg Study, you can get step-by-step solutions to your questions from an expert in the field. If you rather get 1:1 study help, try 30 minutes of free online tutoring with Chegg Tutors.

Bacteriostat

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Definition

noun, plural: bacteriostats

A biological or chemical agent causing bacteriostasis.


Supplement

Bacteriostatic agents are capable of stopping bacteria from reproducing but not completely destroying them. When the bacteriostat is removed, bacteria can start from growing or reproducing again.

Antibiotics, whose action is only bacteriostatic, hamper the growth of bacteria by interfering with the essential biological activities of bacteria, such as protein production, DNA replication, etc.

However, there is no precise distinction between bacteriostats and bactericides. Some bacteriostats applied in high concentrations can become bactericides whereas bactericides applied in low concentrations are only bacteriostats.


Word origin: G.bakterion, little staff + from G. -statēs, one that causes to stand.

Related forms: bacteriostatic (adjective), bacteriostatically (adverb).
Related phrases: reservoir bacteriostat.

Compare: bactericide.
See also: bacteria, infection.