chlorhexidine

Definition / meaning of chlorhexidine

A biguanide compound used as an antiseptic agent with topical antibacterial activity. Chlorhexidine is positively charged and reacts with the negatively charged microbial cell surface, thereby destroying the integrity of the cell membrane. Subsequently, chlorhexidine penetrates into the cell and causes leakage of intracellular components leading to cell death. Since gram positive bacteria are more negatively charged, they are more sensitive to this agent.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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