Cephalosporin antibiotic

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cephalosporin is a class of antibiotics originating from the fungus Acremonium, which was previously known as Cephalosporium. Cephalosporins are categorized as beta-lactam antibiotics, a broad class that also includes penicillins, carbapenems, and monobactams.

History[edit | edit source]

The discovery of cephalosporins dates back to 1945 when Italian scientist Giuseppe Brotzu isolated the substances from a sewage outlet in Sardinia. The antibiotic was later named cephalosporin C, which became the parent compound for subsequent generations of cephalosporins.

Classification[edit | edit source]

Cephalosporins are classified into generations based on their antimicrobial properties. The five generations of cephalosporins are:

  1. First-generation cephalosporins - These are effective against gram-positive bacteria and include drugs like cefazolin and cephalexin.
  2. Second-generation cephalosporins - These have a greater gram-negative spectrum and include cefaclor and cefuroxime.
  3. Third-generation cephalosporins - These have a high degree of effectiveness against gram-negative bacteria and include ceftazidime and ceftriaxone.
  4. Fourth-generation cephalosporins - These have a broader spectrum of anti-bacterial activity and include cefepime.
  5. Fifth-generation cephalosporins - These are effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and include ceftaroline.

Mechanism of Action[edit | edit source]

Cephalosporins work by inhibiting the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. They bind to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) located within the bacterial cell wall, leading to the death of the bacteria.

Side Effects[edit | edit source]

Common side effects of cephalosporins include diarrhea, nausea, rash, and allergy. Severe allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Resistance[edit | edit source]

Resistance to cephalosporins can occur through various mechanisms, including the production of beta-lactamase enzymes, alteration of PBPs, and changes in outer membrane proteins.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD