The active substances of chemical disinfection procedures attack pathogens using a certain mechanism in order to kill or inactivate them. Examples: Alcohols have an unspecific mode of action. They denature all proteins, thus inhibiting bacterial reproduction within a very short time. Triclosan targets a specific enzyme to block lipid synthesis (specific mechanism of action).
The basic principle is: The more specific the mode of action, the greater the probability of emergence of resistant microorganisms with increasing use of this active ingredient.