What are antibiotics and how do they work? | Definition and Types

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  1. What are antibiotics
    1. Meaning of Antibiótico
    2. Body Defense
    3. Resistance of Antibiotics
    4. The bacteria
    5. Who discovered antibiotics?
    6. In summary
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What are antibiotics

An antibiotic is a substance that has the ability to eliminate or stop the growth and proliferation of various pathogenic microorganisms.


This is because antibiotics can act as bactericides or develop a bacteriostatic action.
An antibiotic is that chemical substance, generally used in animal and human medicine and in horticulture.

These may have been produced directly from a living being or synthetically derived from it with the aim of killing or preventing the growth of certain sensitive microorganisms that have caused a concrete infection on the aforementioned organisms.

Meaning of Antibiótico

Antibiotic is an anti-pathogen agent which is designed to stop the reproduction capacity of a bacterium that affects the organism, in all types of living beings.

The antibiotic according to its etymology tells us that it comes from the Greek "αντί" which means the prefix "Anti or against" and "βιοτικός" "Given to life or With life".

The relationship that the human body has with the environment that surrounds it includes a series of interaction capabilities among which it stands out.

Antibiotics can be synthesized in a laboratory or produced by a living organism. They have a level of toxicity that affects pathogens. But not to the host organisms, beyond any adverse reactions.

That is why antibiotics are used to treat infections that cause bacteria in humans, animals, and plants.

Body Defense

The usual thing is that antibiotics when ingested by the person suffering from the infection, help defend your body from the action of bacteria.

With the passing of days, the local organic response is strengthened until it is in a position to reverse the infectious process.

It is important to mention that, when the infection is viral (produced by a virus), antibiotics are not effective.

On the other hand, if the antibiotics are consumed in a way that is not correct in terms of dose or frequency, the bacteria can become resistant, aggravating the problem. That is why it is essential to consult a doctor and not self-medicate.

The phenomenon known as bacterial resistance occurs when bacteria become resistant to certain antibiotics.

So they can not kill them or keep them from growing. One of the reasons why this can happen.

Also, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, is that the consumption of the antibiotic is done too often.

On the other hand, it may also be because the patient does not take all the medications prescribed, believing that the cheapest ones are enough, for example.

Resistance of Antibiotics

When this happens, there are different ways to effectively counteract the action of bacteria.
One of them, perhaps the most common, is to opt for an antibiotic to which the bacteria have not had the opportunity to create resistance.

In some cases, it becomes necessary to administer the drug intravenously. It should be mentioned that it is not always possible to fight bacteria that have become resistant.

With regard to self-medication and the inappropriate use of antibiotics, it is important to first distinguish between serious and transient diseases, which can disappear if we allow our natural defenses to act.

We must not forget that we are the only living beings "dependent" on medicine and that many times we come to believe that in this science all the answers are because we do not listen to our own body.

Faced with problems such as the flu and the common cold, it is best to let our body fight them naturally.

Of course, we can reinforce our defenses with a good diet of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and essential nutrients.

The bacteria

Other diseases usually caused by viruses, which is why they should not be treated with antibiotics, are bronchitis, sore throat, some ear infections and nasal congestion.

However, bronchitis can be related to the presence of bacteria in the lungs, as well as a sore throat can be due to a pharyngitis caused by the streptococcus bacteria and certain ear infections can arise from the action of bacteria.

When in doubt, it is always recommended to consult with a health professional.

Penicillin is one of the best-known antibiotics. It allows to fight bacteria of the genera Staphylococcus and Streptococcus and Escherichia coli.

Among other pathogens that affect the health of the human being. Gentamicin, meropenem, and cephalothin are other widely used antibiotics.

Who discovered antibiotics?

With the discovery of penicillin and the beginning of the antibiotic era, the body's own defenses gained a powerful ally.

In the 1920s, British scientist Alexander Fleming was working in his laboratory at St. Mary's Hospital in London when, almost by accident, he discovered a naturally occurring substance that could attack certain bacteria.

In one of his experiments in 1928, Fleming observed that colonies of the common bacterium Staphylococcus aureus had been depleted or eliminated by a mold that grew on the same plate or Petri dish.

He determined that mold made a substance that could dissolve bacteria. He called this substance penicillin, by the name of the mold Penicillium that produces it.

Fleming and others conducted a series of experiments over the next two decades using penicillin that they took from mold cultures that showed their ability to kill infectious bacteria.

In a short time, other researchers from Europe and the United States began to recreate Fleming's experiments.

They could produce enough penicillin to test it on animals and then on humans. In 1941, they found that even low levels of penicillin cured very serious infections and saved many lives.

For his discoveries, Alexander Fleming won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

In summary

Antibiotic is all that chemical substance in charge of stopping an infection. Infections are abnormalities in the body that happen after a pathogen overcomes the body's natural barriers.

Antibiotics act as a toxic wall for these infections, eradicating the symptoms by means of an act contrary to the bacteria.

This gives us as a concept a complete range of antibiotics that focus on the eradication of certain types of infections.

The bacterial flora of the human body must maintain stability and determine conditions for the proper functioning of the body.

When a bacterium of a different nature intervenes, an antibiotic should be applied to counteract the effects of these.

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