Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance in a Nutshell

In this chapter, I use the term antibiotic to refer to any chemical that kills bacteria or inhibits bacterial growth. I'd stop there, but because the term antibiotic is often in the news and used interchangeably with terms like antimicrobial and antiviral, a little more explanation is in order — especially when these terms tend to appear in rather alarming news stories about infections running amok. To help you avoid confusion and gain a little perspective, I offer the following sections.

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