The β-lactam ring is part of the core structure of several antibiotic families, the principal ones being the penicillins, cephalosporins, carbapenems, and monobactams, which are, therefore, also called β-lactam antibiotics.
The cephalosporins (sg. /ˌsɛfəlɵspɔrɨn/) are a class of β-lactam antibiotics originally derived from the fungus Acremonium, which was previously known as "Cephalosporium".
Cephalosporins are indicated for the prophylaxis and treatment of infections caused by bacteria susceptible to this particular form of antibiotic.
First-generation cephalosporins are active predominantly against Gram-positive bacteria, and successive generations have increased activity against Gram-negative bacteria (albeit often with reduced activity against Gram-positive organisms).
Those that target the bacterial cell wall (penicillins and cephalosporins) or the cell membrane (polymixins), or interfere with essential bacterial enzymes (quinolones and sulfonamides) have bactericidal activities .
This includes penicillin derivatives (penams), cephalosporins (cephems), monobactams, and carbapenems. β-Lactam antibiotics are bacteriocidal and act by inhibiting the synthesis of the peptidoglycan layer of bacterial cell walls .
MRSA is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins.
Antibiotics which may be used to treat E. coli infection include amoxicillin, as well as other semisynthetic penicillins, many cephalosporins, carbapenems, aztreonam, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, and the aminoglycosides.
Similarly, when the infectious disease is picked up in the non-hospital setting it is considered "community acquired. " There are mainly two classes of antimicrobial drugs: those obtained from natural sources (i.e. beta-lactam) antibiotic (such as penicillins, cephalosporins) or protein synthesis inhibitors (such as aminoglycosides, macrolides, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, polypeptides); and synthetic agents.
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