antibiotics again...

John Smith sendnoemail at
Tue Dec 15 23:06:23 EST 1998

I have copied from electronic media several definitions
of the word "antibiotic". Newer definitions recognize
that antibiotics may be produced synthetically
and now try to avoid defining antibiotics as substances
produced solely by microorganisms. The various
definitions are quoted below:

"Antibiotics (Greek anti, "against;" bios, "life") 
are chemical compounds used to kill or inhibit 
the growth of infectious organisms. Originally 
the term antibiotic referred only to organic 
compounds, produced by bacteria or molds, that 
are toxic to other microorganisms. The term is 
now used loosely to include synthetic and 
semisynthetic organic compounds."
(from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 1998). 

antibiotic (²n"t´-bº-¼t"´k, ²n"tº-) n. 
1.  "A substance, such as penicillin or 
streptomycin, that destroys or inhibits 
the growth of microorganisms and is widely 
used to treat infectious diseases." 
-- an"tibiot"ic adj.
(from American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1994)

Antibiotics: "chemical compounds used to kill 
or inhibit the growth of infectious organisms. 
All antibiotics possess selective toxicity, 
meaning that they are more toxic to an invading 
organism than they are to the host organism."
(from Encarta® 98 Desk Encyclopedia © &  1996-97)

antibiotic: "any of a variety of substances,
usually obtained from microorganisms, that inhibit the
growth of or destroy certain other microorganisms."
(from The Columbia Encyclopedia, 5th ed., 1993). adj (1894) 1: "tending to prevent, inhibit, 
or destroy life" 2: "of or relating to antibiotics or to 
antibiosis" -- adv
>antibiotic n (1943): "a substance produced by or 
a semisynthetic substance derived from a 
microorganism and able in dilute solution 
to inhibit or kill another microorganism"
(from the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary,
10th ed., 1994)

antibiotic (àn´tî-bì-òt´îk, àn´tì-) noun:
"A substance, such as penicillin or streptomycin, 
produced by or derived from certain fungi, bacteria, 
and other organisms, that can destroy or inhibit 
the growth of other microorganisms. Antibiotics 
are widely used in the prevention and 
treatment of infectious diseases."
antibiotic  adjective:
1.	Of or relating to antibiotics.
2.	Of or relating to antibiosis.
3.	Destroying life or preventing the 
inception or continuance of life.
- an´tibiot´ically adverb
(from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the 
English Language, Third Edition  © 1996)

"The term ''antibiotic drug'' means any drug (except drugs
for use in animals other than humans) composed wholly or partly of
any kind of penicillin, streptomycin, chlortetracycline,
chloramphenicol, bacitracin, or any other drug intended for human
use containing any quantity of any chemical substance which is
produced by a micro-organism and which has the capacity to inhibit
or destroy micro-organisms in dilute solution (including a
chemically synthesized equivalent of any such substance) or any
derivative thereof."
(definition from the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; 
this definition is the one recognized by the Code
of Federal Regulations, CFR 21. This definiton is the legal
definition for the U.S., but note that according to it the
substance is not an antibiotic drug unless it is "intended
for human use"!) 

-John Smith

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