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Beta-lactam antibiotics: from antibiosis to resistance and bacteriology

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Kong K-F, Schneper L, Mathee K. Beta-lactam antibiotics: from antibiosis to resistance and bacteriology. APMIS 2010; 118: 1–36.

This review focuses on the era of antibiosis that led to a better understanding of bacterial morphology, in particular the cell wall component peptidoglycan. This is an effort to take readers on a tour de force from the concept of antibiosis, to the serendipity of antibiotics, evolution of beta-lactam development, and the molecular biology of antibiotic resistance. These areas of research have culminated in a deeper understanding of microbiology, particularly in the area of bacterial cell wall synthesis and recycling. In spite of this knowledge, which has enabled design of new even more effective therapeutics to combat bacterial infection and has provided new research tools, antibiotic resistance remains a worldwide health care problem.

Keywords: Alexander Fleming; Penicillin; amp genes; beta-lactam; beta-lactamases; penicillin-binding protein

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences 2: Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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