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Research Project - Comparing Antiseptics, Antibiotics and Disinfectants

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´╗┐Biology Coursework ? Research Antiseptics can be classified according to their chemical structure. Frequently used antiseptics include: * Alcohols ? Used as a skin disinfectant. It is effective against a range of microorganisms. It acts fast in killing microorganisms. Has a drying effect on skin and so should not be used on mucous membranes. To be effective, it must dry completely. Alcohol can also be diluted for the most microorganisms to be killed. * Quaternary ammonium compounds - Used as a skin disinfectant, for irrigation (artificial applications of water to land or soil, it helps them grow), and eye drop preservative. * Chlorhexidine ? Used as a pre-operation skin disinfectant, to treat wounds and bladder irrigations. * Antibacterial dyes ? Used as a skin disinfectant and to treat wounds and burns. * Peroxides and permanganates ? Used as a wound cleanser, mouthwashes, irrigations and skin disinfectant. * Halogenated phenol derivatives ? Used as skin disinfectants, medicated soaps and solutions. * Quinolone derivatives ? Used to treat wounds, as throat lozenges and skin disinfectant. * Iodine - This is a popular antiseptic used against a range of microorganisms. It acts fast but can cause skin irritation. ...read more.


They both act as antimicrobials that kill the microbes that cause infection, and contain many of the same ingredients. Disinfectant usually comes in liquid form or in a spray, whereas antiseptic is usually in the form of an ointment, but can also be a spray. http://www.reference.com/motif/science/differences-between-antiseptics-and-disinfectants Antiseptics and disinfectants both remove disease-causing organisms. A difference, however, is the way each substance is used. Antiseptics are applied to skin or tissue and works to prevent infection, whereas disinfectants are applied to surfaces or other inanimate objects. Disinfectants are stronger, so therefore also more toxic because they are applied to surfaces, not living things. http://www.livestrong.com/article/291472-antiseptic-vs-disinfectant/ Antiseptics and antibiotics have common properties so are sometimes viewed as the same, but there are a few differences between them. Antiseptics weaken and slow down the growth of bacteria, which helps prevent the bacteria causing any further infection. However, antibiotics kill the bacteria as well as some fungi and parasites. Unlike antiseptics, bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics after lots of use. Some antiseptics may delay the process of healing and make a wound worse. Another big difference between the two is how they work against bacteria or other microorganisms. ...read more.


This is an example of a plate from a disc diffusion study. There are different sizes of the inhibitory zones around the different disks; each disk is impregnated with a different antiseptic and agent. Interpretation of the test requires comparison of the measured zone diameter with the cutoff values for each organism pair. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/bugdrug/antibiotic_manual/plate.jpg http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/bugdrug/antibiotic_manual/bk.html The effectiveness of antiseptics and disinfectants can be tested by using the filter paper disc test method, or disc-diffusion test. Filter paper discs that have been soaked with various antiseptics and disinfectants are placed on the agar that has been inoculated with bacteria. After incubation, the zone of inhibition (clear area around the disc) is measured for each antiseptic and disinfectant. The test is based on the diffusion of the agent from the area of higher concentration (disc) to the area of lower concentration (media). * If the organism is sensitive to the antiseptic or disinfectant, it will fail to grow up to the edge of the disc, creating a clear zone called the zone of inhibition around the disc. * Microorganisms unaffected by the antiseptic or disinfectant will grow up to the disc. * The larger the zone of inhibition does not mean the agent is more effective, only that it inhibits/prevents the microorganism. The diffusion rate depends on the concentration, and molecular weight of the agent being used. http://www.hccfl.edu/media/568208/17-exercise%20xii. ...read more.

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