Antibiotics: Mechanisms of Action

This micro skills course will enable you to understand the differences in cell structure between bacteria and human cells. Antibiotics exploit these differences so they can target bacteria without causing harm to host cells. Antibiotics can either affect cell wall synthesis, protein synthesis, DNA replication and can also inhibit various enzymes needed for cellular function. These mechanisms of action serve to inhibit bacteria replication and can prove bactericidal.

Delivery Mode
Online - Self Paced
Course Duration
30-60 minutes
Course Type
Yes, on completion
Course Code
Content Provider
Royal College of Anaesthetists

What will I learn?

  1. By the end of this session you will be able to:
  2. Identify differences between human and bacterial cells
  3. Classify antibiotics by their different mechanisms of action
  4. Describe how antibiotics exert their effects by disruption of the bacterial cell wall and protein synthesis
  5. Recognize how the different metabolic pathways of human and bacterial cells leads to selective toxicity of antibiotics

Course provided in association with


  • This eLearning session is provided by the Content Providers listed above but it does not in any way constitute a qualification or accreditation from them.
  • Certificates provided at the end of each session are issued by Talisium under licence and cannot be used by students to seek membership, fellowship or any other form of recognition by the Content Provider.
  • This micro skills course may contain references to UK laws, regulations, policies and practice guidelines.
  • You should apply the lessons within the context of your local environment.
  • This micro skills course may contain features that are not optimised for mobile devices.