∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.15 ∞
Antimicrobial agent that is specific for acellular microorganisms.
Antivirals include both virucides and antiviral drugs, where the latter tend to be much more specific (selective toxicity) than the former. The idea of an antiviral also is more closely linked with drugs than with more general, disinfecting agents. Note that antivirals also include natural products (antiviral peptides) produced, for example, by animals that have antiviral properties, whereas antiviral drugs, contrasting antibiotics, tend to be fully synthetic rather than naturally produced agents.
Antibiotics, historically, are microorganism-produced agents, while antibacterials include (1) antibiotics, (2) synthetic bacteria-targeting drugs, and (3) bacteria-impacting disinfectants. For antivirals this distinction is equivalently between antiviral peptides, antiviral drugs, and more generally acting virucides.