Cephalosporin C

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Cephalosporin C


Cephalosporin C is a natural product and antibiotic belonging to the cephalosporin class of beta-lactam antibiotics. It was first isolated from the fungus Acremonium (formerly Cephalosporium) in 1948 by Italian scientist Giuseppe Brotzu. Cephalosporin C serves as the chemical nucleus for the synthesis of many cephalosporin antibiotics, including cefalexin, cefazolin, and ceftriaxone.

History[edit | edit source]

Cephalosporin C was discovered in a sewage outlet on the coast of Sardinia by Giuseppe Brotzu in 1948. Brotzu noticed that the substance produced by the Acremonium fungus was effective against Salmonella typhi, the causative agent of typhoid fever. This discovery led to the development of the first cephalosporin antibiotics.

Structure and Properties[edit | edit source]

Cephalosporin C is a beta-lactam compound, which refers to its three-carbon, one-nitrogen cyclic amide structure. It also contains a thiazolidine ring fused to the beta-lactam ring, and a side chain with a D-alpha-aminoadipic acid, which is unique to cephalosporins.

Medical Use[edit | edit source]

Cephalosporin C itself is not used clinically due to its poor absorption and rapid excretion. However, its derivatives, such as cefalexin and cefazolin, are widely used in the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.

Synthesis[edit | edit source]

The industrial production of cephalosporin C is carried out through fermentation of Acremonium chrysogenum (formerly Cephalosporium acremonium). The cephalosporin C is then used as a starting material for the synthesis of various cephalosporin antibiotics.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD