antiseptic

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antiseptic,

agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the external surfaces of the body. Antiseptics should generally be distinguished from drugs such as antibiotics that destroy microorganisms internally, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms found on nonliving objects. Germicides include only those antiseptics that kill microorganisms. Some common antiseptics are alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, and boric acid. There is great variation in the ability of antiseptics to destroy microorganisms and in their effect on living tissue. For example, mercuric chloride is a powerful antiseptic, but it irritates delicate tissue. In contrast, silver nitrate kills fewer germs but can be used on the delicate tissues of the eyes and throat. There is also a great difference in the time required for different antiseptics to work. Iodine, one of the fastest-working antiseptics, kills bacteria within 30 sec. Other antiseptics have slower, more residual action. Since so much variability exists, systems have been devised for measuring the action of an antiseptic against certain standards. The bacteriostatic action of an antiseptic compared to that of phenol (under the same conditions and against the same microorganism) is known as its phenol coefficient. Joseph Lister was the first to employ the antiseptic phenol, or carbolic acid, in surgery, following the discovery by Louis Pasteur that microorganisms are the cause of infections. Modern surgical techniques for avoiding infection are founded on asepsis, the absence of pathogenic organisms. Sterilization is the chief means of achieving asepsis.

antiseptic

[¦an·tə¦sep·tik]
(microbiology)
A substance used to destroy or prevent the growth of infectious microorganisms on or in the human or animal body.

antiseptic

an agent or substance that prevents infection by killing germs
References in periodicals archive ?
The birth dates of the MADDSP sampling, between 1986 and 1994, yielded a unique opportunity for comparison, given the rise in thimerosal exposure starting in the early 1990s with the addition of the hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccine series to the CDC's infant vaccination schedule.
Inhibition of MS Activity by Metals and Thimerosal. MS activity in SH-SY5Y cells was previously shown to be highly sensitive to metals and the ethylmercury-containing preservative thimerosal [11].
I was pleased to help provide evidence regarding the whole thimerosal fiasco that allowed the World Health Organization to continue to use multidose vials of vaccines that contain thimerosal.
"Some analyses suggested a beneficial effect of the thimerosal exposure," says Neal Halsey, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Ball L, Ball R, Pratt RD.An assessment of thimerosal in childhood vaccines.
I was shocked to learn recently that thimerosal is a frequently used preservative in our flu vaccines today!
Researchers found that there were no significant differences between the mothers who received the thimerosal in the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine while pregnant versus the mothers who did not receive the thimerosal at all while pregnant.
We have elected to monitor cell growth as our metric so we could identify if ethylmercury, in the form of thimerosal, significantly inhibited cell growth in cells drawn from ASD familial genotypes with respect to non-ASD controls.
If encountered in future studies, this information confirms gender differences in thimerosal toxicity (3).
Data from 19 studies support the safety of thimerosal, which is used as a preservative in multidose vials of the pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, according to an updated fact sheet on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site.
The vaccine was manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur in its plant in Swiftwater, Pa., and does not contain the preservative thimerosal or an immune boosting substance known as an adjuvant, Fauci said.