Numerous products, including protective coatings, offer different types of protection, and the standard scientific terms used in those products often look interchangeably similar. For instance, many individuals may feel that the terms antibacterial and antimicrobial represent the same thing.
What does antibacterial mean?
Nature of action
- Naturally occurring – These are naturally occurring compounds found in either plants or animals. Penicillin is a popular antibiotic that was first found and isolated from the fungus Penicillium. After this Prize-winning discovery by the scientist Alexander Fleming (Fleming 2001) in 1929, the world of antibiotic therapy paved way for the discovery of more such naturally occurring compounds. Plant-based alkaloids are another vast reservoir of such compounds (Kaefer 2011). The history and the evolution of Tetracyclines follow another such pattern (Nelson 2011).
- Semi-Synthetic – These are derivatives of naturally occurring compounds. Again, Penicillin is a classic example that has spawned numerous derivatives and generations of its original nature, ever since its discovery (PENICILLIN DERIVATIVE…). Another example of such antibiotics are the Macrolide class of antibiotics that are bacteriostatic antibiotics with a broad spectrum of activity against many gram-positive bacteria (Macrolide Antibiotics…). Development of resistance to them led to the search for the design of new semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotics (Fernandes 2017).
- Synthetic – These are purely synthesized using in the labs and are often inspired by naturally occurring compounds that possess similar properties; the difference being knowledge of the pathways unique to microbes are taken into cognizance to make them unique in their mode of action. This approach is believed to offer a new path for the exploitation and improvement of natural products to address the growing crisis in antibiotic resistance (Thaker 2015).
Range of activity
- Broad-spectrum OR
- Narrow-spectrum antibacterial agents
- Beta Lactams
- Quinolones and Fluoroquinolones
Cellular functions as targets
- Cell wall synthesis inhibitors
- Membrane function inhibitors
- Protein Synthesis inhibitors
- Nucleic acid synthesis inhibitors
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Coatings
Atul Tiwari. Handbook of Antimicrobial Coatings. Elsevier, 2018. Link
Case Studies – Flora Coatings. Link
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J Loree, SL Lappin. Bacteriostatic Antibiotics. (2021).
GA Pankey, LD Sabath. Clinical relevance of bacteriostatic versus bactericidal mechanisms of action in the treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections. Clin Infect Dis 38, 864-70 (2004).
A Fleming. On the antibacterial action of cultures of a penicillium, with special reference to their use in the isolation of B. influenzae. 1929. Bull World Health Organ 79, 780-90 (2001).
CM Kaefer, JA Milner. Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. (2011).
ML Nelson, SB Levy. The history of the tetracyclines. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1241, 17-32 (2011).
Penicillin Derivatives. Link
Macrolide Antibiotics. Birkhäuser Basel, 2002. Link
P Fernandes, E Martens, D Pereira. Nature nurtures the design of new semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotics. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 70, 527-533 (2017).
MN Thaker, GD Wright. Opportunities for synthetic biology in antibiotics: expanding glycopeptide chemical diversity. ACS Synth Biol 4, 195-206 (2015).
A Guide to Antimicrobial Coatings. Link
M Cloutier, D Mantovani, F Rosei. Antibacterial Coatings: Challenges, Perspectives, and Opportunities. Trends Biotechnol 33, 637-652 (2015).
Antimicrobial Coatings – IUPAC | International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Link