Why is it ineffective to treat viral disease with antibiotics?

1 Answer
Feb 10, 2017

Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria.


Viruses replicate is essentially by 'hacking' a cell and inserting their genetic material into the host's. The host cell is then induced to replicate the viral genome.

However, bacteria replicate by binary fission. The cell wall separates to form two new cells. Antibiotics work by stopping the cell wall from splitting during binary fission, which causes the bacteria to burst.

This is why antibiotics don't work in viruses: They can't stop viral reproduction.