Antibacterial: Anything that destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability to reproduce. Heat, chemicals such as chlorine, and antibiotic drugs all have antibacterial properties. Many antibacterial products for cleaning and handwashing are sold today. Such products do not reduce the risk for symptoms of viral infectious diseases in otherwise healthy persons. This does not preclude the potential contribution of antibacterial products to reducing symptoms of bacterial diseases in the home.
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016