What is the difference between antibacterial and antibiotic?
How to differentiate antibiotics from antibacterial tend to cause a lot of problems to students pursuing biological science courses. Both antibiotics and antibacterial are closely related in the way they are obtained.
The core difference between antibacterial and antibiotics is that antibacterial is a chemical substance that works against bacteria cells while the antibiotic is a chemical agent produced naturally or artificially to kill the growing microorganisms.
What Is an Antibacterial?
Antibacterial is a chemical compound that tends to work against the bacteria function. The main purpose is to slow down the activities of the bacteria.
Antibacterial are classified according to the mode of function. Bacteriocidal are antibacterial chemicals that kill and destroy bacterial cells.
On the other hand, Bacteriostatic are antibacterial compounds that inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria cells.
Examples of antibacterial drugs are Cephalosporin (isolated from fungus), Penicillins, Tetracyclines, sulfa drugs and fluoroquinolones.
What Is An Antibiotic?
Antibiotics are chemical or physical agents whose main function is to kill and destroy all the bacteria cells. Antibiotics can be produced naturally or synthetically as medicines.
Antibiotics are classified according to which organism they kill in the body. These classes are antifungal which kill fungi, antibacterial which kill bacteria and antiparasite which kill parasites.
Comparison Chart: Antibacterial vs Antibiotic
|Meaning||Refers to compounds which work against the activities of bacteria cells||Refers to chemical or physical agents which kill and destroy bacteria cells|
|What is it?||Subset||Superset|
|Function||Work on the bacteria only||Work on the action of bacteria and fungi|
|Type of cell||Only prokaryotes||Both prokaryotes and eukaryotes|
|Cell site target||Tend to target peptidoglycan cell wall, bacterial DNA and metabolism||Tend to target chitin and glucan fungal cell walls and DNA of parasites.|
|Alternative definition||Refer to cleaning products, soaps, and disinfectant||Refer to capsules drug ingested into the body|
|Side effect||Less severe||More severe|
|Examples of drugs||Penicillins, Tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, and fluoroquinolones.||Bacitracin or Nystatin.|
Core Differences between Antibacterial and Antibiotic In Point Form
- Antibacterial is a chemical compound that inhibits growth and reproduction of bacteria cells while the antibiotic is a chemical agent that kills and destroy bacteria cells
- Antibacterial are subsets while antibiotics are a superset
- Antibacterial target only bacteria while antibiotics target fungi, bacteria, and parasites
- The cell type targeted by antibacterial are prokaryotes only while antibiotics target both eukaryotes and prokaryotes
- The side effects of antibacterial are less severe while those of antibiotics are more severe
- Antibacterial refers to soaps, cleaning products, and disinfectants while antibiotics refer to medicine capsule ingested internally
- Antibacterial target cell site of the peptidoglycan cell wall, bacterial DNA, and metabolism while antibiotics target the chitin and glucan fungal cell walls and DNA of parasites.
- Examples of antibacterial drugs are Penicillins, Tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, and fluoroquinolones while those of antibiotics are Bacitracin and Nystatin.
Similarities between Antibacterial and Antibiotics
- Both kill bacteria
- Both can be obtained naturally, semi-synthetically, or synthetically.
- Both are non-toxic to the host cell
- Both tend to remain active the body fluids and tissues
- Both bring quick action on affected sites
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Antibiotics refer to medicine taken internally while antibacterial refers to the soap and disinfectant. Both tend to kill bacteria but antibiotics can also be used to kill fungi.