Antiviral and Antibacterial Axel Barrett Corona Definitions

Antimicrobial, Antibacterial and Antiviral

What is the difference between antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral?

What are Microbes?

A microbe, or “microscopic organism,” is a living thing that is too small to be seen with the naked eye.

We need to use a microscope to see them.

The term is used to describe many types of life forms:

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  • Bacteria
  • Archaea
  • Fungi
  • Protists
  • Viruses
  • Microscopic Animals

Bacteria vs Viruses

  • Bacteria

All bacteria are microbes; not all microbes are bacteria.

Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that have no nucleus and a cell wall made of peptidoglycan.

Bacteria are the direct descendents of the first organisms that lived on Earth.

Most bacteria are much smaller than our own cells, though a few are much larger and some are as small as viruses.

They usually do not have any membrane-wrapped organelles (e.g., nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum), but they do have an outer membrane.

Most bacteria are also surrounded by at least one layer of cell wall.

  • Viruses

Viruses are microscopic particles made of nucleic acids, proteins, and sometimes lipids.

Viruses can’t reproduce on their own. Instead, they reproduce by infecting other cells and hijacking their host’s cellular machinery.

Viruses are specialized to infect a certain host, and often a specific cell type within that host.

HIV, for example, infects a certain type of immune cell in primates.

Other viruses infect plants, animals, bacteria, or archaea.

Since the ability to reproduce is often listed as a requirement for life, some consider viruses to be non-living. Regardless, viruses are an important part of all ecosystems, including the human body.

In our bodies, viruses infect not only our cells, but also other microbes that live in our bodies.

Viruses that infect bacteria are called baceriophage.

Viruses that infect archaea come in unusual shapes: some have two tails, others are shaped like bottles or flowers.


  • Antibacterial 

Antibacterial just does bacteria.

Antibacterial means directed or effective against bacteria.

Antibacterial technologies are effective against a broad spectrum of harmful bacteria including E. coli and MRSA.*

They will typically incorporate silver active ingredients.

  • Antimicrobial

Antimicrobial will do fungi, other microbes and bacteria.

Antimicrobial means destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms.

Antimicrobial technologies minimise the presence of bacteria, mold, and fungi.

In contrast to antibacterial agents, antimicrobial substances offer a greater level of product protection by continuously inhibiting the growth of microbes on surfaces for very long periods of time.

The broad spectrum performance of antimicrobial substances makes them perfect for use in hygiene critical environments such as schools, hospitals, and commercial kitchens.

Typical active ingredients include silver or zinc.

  • Antiviral 

Antiviral means acting, effective, or directed against viruses.

Antiviral is specifically for things such as COVID-19. Viruses are a different type of cell.

The main difference being that the viruses tend to have a fatty surround, so in order to kill viruses you often have a two-part process where you basically have to … get through the fatty part and get through to the virus itself.

One British company seem to be leader in developing these kind of plastic additives: Symphony Environmental


What are Microbes?

What’s the Difference? Antimicrobial, Antibacterial, and Antiviral

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