Antibiotics vs Antibodies| Key Differences and Similarities

Antibiotics and antibodies are substances that can eradicate the bacteria in the body.

They are quite similar in that they are meant to prevent and kill an infection.

But there are many differences between the two.

Antibiotics and Antibody differences

SourceAntibiotics are produced from fungi or related microbes, while some are chemically synthesized.

Those from micro-organisms are manufactured on a large scale for healthcare using rDNA technology and fermentation.
Antibodies are produced inside the living body by the B-lymphocytes in response to an infection or foreign invasion.
ChemistryAntibiotics have simple chemistry and are mostly carbon compounds.These are proteins in nature.
TypesThere are following types like
1. Beta-lactams (penicillins, cephalosporins)
2. Aminoglycosides (streptomycin)
3. Chloramphenicol.
4. Tetracyclines (Doxycyclin)
5. Qunionlones (cefixime)
6. Sulfonamides.
7. Anti-TB and leprosy
There are 5 major types like
1. Immunoglobin G (IgG)
2. Immunoglobin A (IgA)
3. Immunoglobin M (IgM)
4. Immunoglobin E (IgE)
5. Immunoglobin D (IgD)

Of these, IgA is highly active against bacteria.
Specific againstThey are meant to target only the bacteria.They can target any foreign cell-like bacteria, protozoa, fungus, virus, and even cancer cells.
Mechanism Antibiotics target specific bacterial structures like the cell wall, protein synthesis ribosomes, DNA gyrase enzymes that help in DNA replication, and other enzymes.Antibodies recognize the foreign cell and bind to it, forming a complex and neutralizing it by phagocytosis.
Mode of actionAntibiotics are either bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal. I.e. they either inhibit their growth and multiplication or kill them, respectively.They kill and destroy bacterial cells.
DependencyAntibiotics are dependent on the cell cycle phases of the bacteria.Antibodies are dependent on the epitome or antigenic portions of the bacteria for action.
EffectivenessThey are highly effective against bacteriaThey are highly effective except in immunocompromised patients.
Speed of actionI believe antibiotics take a longer time comparativelyLesser time.
Duration of actionThe action is seen until their half-life (t1/2) in the body. And mostly it not more than a few hours.The action and effect are constant, i.e., the protection is always present unless the immunity is less.
ResistanceBacteria have developed resistance to many antibiotics.There is no resistance to antibodies in a healthy individual.
InterdependencyThough the antibiotics are effective, still antibodies are essential for the control of infections.If immunity is good, antibodies can destroy bacteria without the need for antibiotics.
Adverse effectsAntibiotics can cause adverse effects and are sometimes so severe that they lead to death. (Ex: Penicillin produces anaphylactic shock and death in a few with an allergy to it.)Antibodies are natural body substances and do not cause adverse effects except in patients with autoimmune disorders.
Antibiotics vs Antibodies

Similarities and comparisons between antibiotics and antibodies.

Pharmacological EffectsIt aims to stop bacterial infectionStop bacterial infection.
DoseAntibiotics are to be given a minimal therapeutic dose for effective action. If not, the infection will not be controlled and can worsen due to resistance.The antibodies are not dose-specific. However, sufficient antibodies are essential for protection and removal. This is possible only in a healthy body.
Large scale productionThey can be produced on a large scale to meet the market demand.Monoclonal antibodies can be produced on a large scale as per needs.

Do antibiotics produce antibodies?

Antibiotics do not produce antibodies.


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