Overview of an antimicrobial agents

Overview of an Antimicrobial agents


  • Various types of infections and diseases could also be caused by various types of organism such as fungi, bacteria, virus etc., in humans and animals.
  • The agents which inhibit or prevent the pathogenicity of microorganism is called antimicrobial agent.
  • One that interferes with the metabolism and growth of microbes.
  • Various physical and chemical agents are used antimicrobial agents.

Conditions influencing antimicrobial actions

  • Microorganism are not so simple, physical targets.
  • Many biological characteristics or conditions may affect the rate at which microorganisms are killed or inactivated by various agents.

Some of the biological characteristics of the cell as well as environmental condition which influence the efficacy of antimicrobial agents are:

    1. Environment
    2. Kinds of microorganisms
    3. Physiological state of cells
  • Environment: Efficacy of microbial destruction is based on the physical or chemical properties of the medium or substance carrying the organism i.e. the environment.
  • Type of microorganism: There is a dissimilarity in the susceptibility to physical and chemical agent in the microbial species.
  • Physiological state of cells influences the susceptibility to an antimicrobial agent.

Mode of action of antimicrobial agents

  • Many processes and substances which used as antimicrobial agents manifest or implies the activity in one of several ways.

Mode of action of antimicrobial agents

Mode of action of various antimicrobial agents are as follows:

    1. Destruction to the cell wall or inhibition of cell wall synthesis.
    2. Interference in the permeability of cytoplasmic membrane.
    3. Protein or nucleic acid synthesis inhibition.
    4. Inhibition of enzyme action.
    5. Interference in physical or chemical state of proteins and nucleic acids.

Various antimicrobial agents

Various antimicrobial agents involved are:

    1. Physical agents
    2. Chemical agent

Physical agent

The major physical agents used for inhibition of microbial population are:

    1. Temperature
    2. Desiccation
    3. Osmotic pressure
    4. Radiation
    5. Filtration

Major physical agents used for inhibition of microbial population

Chemical agents

The major chemical antimicrobial agents can be grouped as follows:

    1. Antibiotic
    2. Antiseptic
    3. Disinfectants


  • It is an organic compound which produced by microorganisms that inhibit or destroy the microbes.
  • It is effective against bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections.

Antibiotics On the basis of mode of action are:

    1. Bacteriostatic: E.g. -Tetracycline, erythromycin etc.
    2. Bactericidal: E.g. – Penicillin, Cephalosporin etc

Antibiotics On the basis of spectrum activity are:

    1. Broad spectrum: E.g.- Tetracycline Amoxicillin.
    2. Narrow spectrum: E.g.- Penicillin Vanomycin.

Antiseptics and disinfectants

  • Antiseptics: it is applied to the infected skin surfaces, injured tissue and cuts.
  • It is not prescribed to be taken orally.
  • Disinfectants: it is the process of destroying the infectious agents.

Various types of disinfectants are:

    1. Phenol and phenolic compounds
    2. Halogens
      • Iodine
      • Chlorine and chlorine compounds
    3. Alcohol
    4. Heavy metal and their compound
      • Mercury
      • Silver
      • Copper
    5. Dyes
      • Triphenylmethane dyes
      • Acridine dyes
    6. Detergent
    7. Aldehydes
      • Formaldehyde
      • Gluteraldehyde
    8. Gaseous agents
      • Ethylene oxide

Reference and Sources

  • 2% – https://byjus.com/chemistry/antimicrobial-agents/
  • 1% -http://docshare.tips/forage-evaluation-in-ruminant nutrition_57623865b6d87ffe5a8b49 35.html
  • 1% -https://www.slideshare.net/SaifulIslam750/fundamentals-of-control-of-microorganisms
  • 1% – http://inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/EHC006.HTM
  • 1% – https://clinicalgate.com/principles-of-antimicrobial-action-and-resistance/
  • 1% -https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277034963_NMR_of_proteins_and_nucleic_acids
  • 1% – https://quizlet.com/73625055/gamble-microbiology-test-3-flash-cards/
  • 2% – https://acikders.ankara.edu.tr/mod/resource/view.php?id=57610

Also Read:

Overview of an Antimicrobial agents

Leave a Comment