Types of Antibiotics: Bactericidal vs.Bacteriostatic & Narrow Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum


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You take a bacterial culture and spread it on an agar culture plate that contains an antibiotic. After leaving it overnight in an incubator, no colonies grow.

Then you swipe a sterile swab around the plate and streak it onto a new plate that has no antibiotics. After leaving that plate overnight in an incubator, colonies grow.

What type of antibiotic was in the first plate?

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1. Dr. Martiinez is not 100% certain of the type of serious bacterial infection ailing her patient until a culture is sent out. In the meantime, she prescribes _____ to BEST increase the chances of effectively dealing with the bacteria affecting her patient.

2. Which of the following statements about antibiotics with a narrow spectrum of antimicrobial activity is FALSE?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Use this quiz/worksheet combo to assess your understanding of the different ways antibiotics are used to fight bacteria. You'll be assessed on types of antibiotics and how they work.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on the following terms:

  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics
  • Narrow-spectrum antibiotics
  • Bacteriostatic
  • Bactericidal

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet allow students to test the following skills:

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to understand what types of antibiotics should be used
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as Gram negative and broad-spectrum
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about how different antibiotics work

Additional Learning

Have a look at the lesson named Types of Antibiotics: Bactericidal vs. Bacteriostatic & Narrow Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum to get more information about the function of antibiotics. It covers the following objectives:

  • Identify a bacteriostatic antibiotic
  • Explain why a broad-spectrum antibiotic would be prescribed
  • Differentiate between bactericidal and bacteriostatic
  • Understand the benefits of narrow-spectrum antibiotics