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An antibacterial is an agent that inhibits bacterial growth or kills bacteria. "Antibacterial(s)" and "antibiotic(s)" are often used as synonyms; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, "antibiotic(s)" has come to denote a broader range of antimicrobial compounds, including anti-fungal and other compounds.

The term antibiotic was first used in 1942. The original definition excluded substances, such as gastric juices and hydrogen peroxide, that kill bacteria, but are not produced by microorganisms. It also excluded synthetic antibacterial compounds such as the sulfonamides.

Antibiotics in 1632[]

The concept of antibiotics, as well as a limited supply of them, was brought to 17th century Europe by the arrival of Grantville in 1631. The first antibiotics produced down-time were chloramphenicol and sulfa drugs such as sulfanilamide. They were chosen because they could be synthesized in small quantities, even though synthesizing chloramphenicol was difficult, and because chloramphenicol was known to be effective against plague and typhus.

By January of 1635, the Antonite monks of Cologne were producing crude, but useful, penicillin after years of working with commercial, freeze-dried Penicillium Notatum cultures that had been salvaged from the refrigerator in the science department of Grantville High School.[1] While it was not as effective as pure penicillin, which was still out of reach, it was generally suitable for topical use.


  1. Grantville Gazette X, "The Prepared Mind"