Antibiotics are chemicals used to fight diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoa. Only a few antibiotics are effective against just a few viruses. Antibiotics can be used to fight infections because they are toxic to specific microbes. They may be prescribed to prevent infection when the immune system is impaired, or when there is a risk of endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart). Before the advent of modern antibiotics, many patients experienced a uniform progression of the disease to the death. Antibiotics were originally produced from selected mold and fungi found in the earth, air, or water.

Since the 1930s, thousands of antibiotics have been found in nature; however, only a few (over 60) have been found to be safe ...

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