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Chapter 22 : Killing Unwanted Microbes

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Killing Unwanted Microbes, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

A variety of procedures are used to kill or inhibit the growth of potentially pathogenic microbes in food and drink, on objects that we contact daily, and on or in the body. The antimicrobial weapons now available are of two general kinds: physical agents and chemical agents. Heat is the most common physical agent used for killing microbes in food and on objects (sterilization). Pasteurization is aimed at killing the relatively heat-sensitive pathogenic bacteria likely to contaminate milk and other liquids; not all the microbes present are killed. Numerous classes of chemical substances can inhibit the growth rates of microbes or can kill them. Certain effective chemical agents can be used externally, on the skin or to disinfect objects. Others, such as antimetabolites and antibiotics, are used internally in order to fight disease. Antiseptics are chemicals that can be safely applied to the skin or mucous membranes. Disinfectants are chemical agents used to kill microbes in or on inanimate objects or materials. Antimetabolites ordinarily do not kill microbes, but they can slow down their growth rates drastically. The so-called sulfa drugs, widely used at one time for treating infectious diseases, are examples of antimetabolites. At present, interferons are probably the most potentially promising agents for treatment of virus diseases.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Killing Unwanted Microbes, p 145-149. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch22
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Figures

Image of Figure 35
Figure 35

Fleming's photograph (as published in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, vol. X, no. 3) of the original petri dish on which he observed “dissolution of staphylococcal colonies in the neighbourhood of a penicillum colony.”

Citation: Gest H. 2003. Killing Unwanted Microbes, p 145-149. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch22
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