Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers cure drug-resistant infections without antibiotics

Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice. Instead of killing causative bacteria ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Drug-resistant gene goes from pig farms to patients worldwide

A troublesome gene that is resistant to an antibiotic often used as a last resort has been tracked from its origins on Chinese pig farms to hospital patients worldwide in a new study led by UCL and Peking University People's ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

First proof a synthesized antibiotic is capable of treating superbugs

A "game changing" new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesised and used to treat an infection for the first time—and could lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Drug-resistant superbug spreading in hospitals: study

A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics that can cause "severe" infections or even death is spreading undetected through hospital wards across the world, scientists in Australia warned on Monday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

IBM lab designs molecule to kill drug-resistant superbugs

As a scientist at IBM's Almaden Research Laboratory, James Hedrick was well aware of the global problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can turn a minor scrape into a death sentence.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

'Superbugs' found in vast majority of U.S. supermarket meat

(HealthDay)—Nearly 80 percent of meat in U.S. supermarkets contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental research organization.

Pediatrics

Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria

A recent study completed at the University of Helsinki investigated the amount and quality of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in breast milk and gut of mother-infant pairs. The findings have been published in the journal Nature ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Antibiotics are 'avoidable trigger' for bowel disease

Scientists at The University of Manchester have shown for the first time how antibiotics can predispose the gut to avoidable infections that trigger bowel disease in mice.

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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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