Antibiotic Resistance

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Nature Finds a Way: Antibiotic Resistance in Streptococcus Pneumoniae Introduction There is an estimate of 1 million children age five and under dying to Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) each year (Schrag S, Beall B, and Dowell S 2001). This is due to the growing threat of bacteria becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics. The first case of S. pneumoniae becoming resistant to an antibiotic was in 1965, to penicillin, just twenty-two years after the drug was first created. This is cause for concern because should bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, we will have no way to treat bacteria-born disease. Fowler et al. have attempted to warn the world about the “antibiotic apocalypse” we have entered by continual use of …show more content…

Penicillin is crystalline in structure and can be dissolved in water; its structural formula can be seen in Figure 1. β-Lactam What is β-lactam? β-Lactam (beta-lactam) is a type of broad spectrum antibiotic classified by having a beta-lactam ring in the pharmaceutical drug’s chemical structure; penicillin has this ring present as seen in Figure 1. Kong, Schneper, and Mathee (2010) discuss that “beta-lactam antibiotics have been seen to have four independent effects on bacteria: (1) growth, viability, shape division, and integrity of bacterial cells; (2) a bacterium’s cell wall and enzymes associated with its biosynthesis; (3) cellular components that tightly bind penicillin and attempts to correlate binding with its physiological effects; (4) mutants with altered response to the β-lactam antibiotics. These ultimately became coherent.” How do β-lactam antibiotics work to fight against gram-positive bacteria? Transpeptidases are known for being sensitive to penicillin because their activity is inhibited by beta-lactam antibiotics. Transpeptidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the transpeptidation reaction (“Transpeptidase”). Transpeptidation, the chemical reaction conversion amino acid residue or a peptide residue is transferred from one amino compound to another (“Transpeptidation”). Once penicillin binds the PBP it is resilient to many forms of detachment, but can be removed by destroying the PBP through high

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