Antibiotics and chemotherapeutics belong to a class of compounds that suppress or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. These compounds are commonly referred to as antimicrobial agents. Antibiotics are naturally occurring substances produced by yeasts, molds, and other microorganisms, whereas chemotherapeutics are chemically synthesized substances with activity similar to that of antibiotics. In addition, certain mineral elements (copper and zinc) have antimicrobial properties when included at high levels in diets for certain classes of animals.

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