Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists aim for new weapons in fight against superbugs

New weapons are needed to fight drug-resistant bacteria, one of the biggest threats to global health. By working on new antibiotics or finding ways to revive existing ones in our medical arsenal, scientists aim to avoid a ...

Diabetes

Better treatment for diabetic foot ulcers

People with type 2 diabetes often suffer from poorly-healing infected wounds on their feet. Using existing methods, however, it takes two days to grow a bacterial culture used to identify the pathogens infecting the wound ...

Medications

New study is 'chilling commentary' on future of antibiotics

The health care market is failing to support new antibiotics used to treat some of the world's most dangerous, drug-resistant "superbugs," according to a new analysis by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine infectious ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Organic chicken less likely to harbor a dangerous 'superbug'

(HealthDay)— In a finding that suggests organic is best, a new study indicates that chickens raised without antibiotics may have fewer types of antibiotic-resistant salmonella than animals raised at factory farms.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Antibiotic resistance: Why tests are key to arresting the trend

Infections are a leading cause of death worldwide. But widespread resistance to almost all available antibacterials is a reality in low and middle-income countries. It is thought to be most acute in sub-Saharan Africa.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

ATS/IDSA publishes clinical guideline on community acquired pneumonia

The American Thoracic Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America have published an official clinical guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of adults with community acquired pneumonia (CAP) in the ATS's Oct. ...

Health

Better treatment for diabetic foot ulcers

People with type 2 diabetes often suffer from poorly-healing infected wounds on their feet. Using existing methods, however, it takes two days to grow a bacterial culture used to identify the pathogens infecting the wound ...

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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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