Clark, Francis Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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A chemical substance used to destroy or prevent the growth of infectious microorganisms on or in a human or other animal body. An antiseptic is an antimicrobial compound or drug preparation that inhibits the spread and development of harmful microorganisms on or in living tissue, preventing infection (Fig. 1). In general, antiseptics will render microorganisms innocuous, by either killing them or preventing their growth, according to the character of the preparation or the method of application. See also: Antimicrobial agents; Clinical microbiology; Infection; Medical bacteriology; Microbiology
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