Metals could be the link to new antibiotics

Compounds containing metals could hold the key to the next generation of antibiotics to combat the growing threat of global antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics in animals: More research urgently needed

A special issue of Animal Health Research Reviews turns the spotlight on the science underlying this growing crisis—looking at the evidence base for using antibiotics to prevent illness in beef and dairy cattle, swine, ...

Artificial intelligence yields new antibiotic

Using a machine-learning algorithm, MIT researchers have identified a powerful new antibiotic compound. In laboratory tests, the drug killed many of the world's most problematic disease-causing bacteria, including some strains ...

Antibiotics discovered that kill bacteria in a new way

A new group of antibiotics with a unique approach to attacking bacteria has been discovered, making it a promising clinical candidate in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Antibiotic-resistance in Tanzania is an environmental problem

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are prevalent in people, wildlife and the water in northeastern Tanzania, but it's not antibiotic use alone driving resistance. Instead, researchers at Washington State University found transmission ...

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Antibiotic

In common usage, an antibiotic (from the Ancient Greek: ἀντί – anti, "against", and βίος – bios, "life") is a substance or compound that kills bacteria or inhibits their growth. Antibiotics belong to the broader group of antimicrobial compounds, used to treat infections caused by microorganisms, including fungi and protozoa.

The term "antibiotic" was coined by Selman Waksman in 1942 to describe any substance produced by a microorganism that is antagonistic to the growth of other microorganisms in high dilution. This original definition excluded naturally occurring substances that kill bacteria but are not produced by microorganisms (such as gastric juice and hydrogen peroxide) and also excluded synthetic antibacterial compounds such as the sulfonamides. Many antibiotics are relatively small molecules with a molecular weight less than 2000 Da.[citations needed]

With advances in medicinal chemistry, most antibiotics are now semisynthetic—modified chemically from original compounds found in nature, as is the case with beta-lactams (which include the penicillins, produced by fungi in the genus Penicillium, the cephalosporins, and the carbapenems). Some antibiotics are still produced and isolated from living organisms, such as the aminoglycosides, and others have been created through purely synthetic means: the sulfonamides, the quinolones, and the oxazolidinones. In addition to this origin-based classification into natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic, antibiotics may be divided into two broad groups according to their effect on microorganisms: those that kill bacteria are bactericidal agents, while those that only impair bacterial growth are known as bacteriostatic agents.

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