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Nurs Stand. 2004 Jun 16-22;18(40):38-42.

Bacterial infections: antibiotics and decontamination.

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  • 1St Bartholomew School of Nursing and Midwifery, City University, London.


Infectious disease is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and micro-organisms including the mycoplasmas, rickettsiae and chlamydiae. Most of the infections commonly encountered in the UK are caused either by bacteria or viruses. This article describes bacterial structure and function to explain how antibiotics work and the processes of decontamination such as cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation, which are important in infection control.

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