How do antibiotics work?

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Antibiotics are used all over the world in the battle against illness and disease. But how do they combat all the ailments that we suffer from?

Their main role is to basically disrupt the spread of bacteria by stopping them in their tracks. This can be done by blocking their route to energy sources or stopping them reproducing by preventing them from growing new proteins.

There are some limitations to antibiotics though. They are unable to prevent or cure diseases like the common cold or flu as these are virus-based diseases, rather than bacterial infections.

Even if you do have a bacterial infection, however, don’t reach straight for the pills. An over reliance on antibiotics can leave us unable to battle disease by ourselves and bacteria could eventually build up a resistance to the antibiotics, rendering them useless.