Explain why not all antimicrobial compounds are antibiotics?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An antimicrobial compound is something that inhibits the growth and spread of bacteria, fungus and protozoa. Antibiotics are designed to interfere with the growth of bacteria and examples include penicillin, erythromyecin, tetracycline to name but a few. Some inhibit reproduction and some inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria. Some are natural and others synthetic. There are synthetic anti-fungals, anti-protozoans also. Antiseptics like lysol spray and bleach can be used to kill microorganisms outside of the body. Essential oils in such plants as cinammon and cloves can be used to fight microbes as well. Soaps are highly effective ways to kill microbes outside the body as well as hand sanitizer which can contain alcohol, another effective microbe killer.

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