vancomycin2 - Vancomycin: The future of last resort...

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Vancomycin: The future of last resort Antibiotics. Michael D’Hondt Vancomycin is considered the last resort antibiotic today but with the evolution of bacteria it is sure to lose its place in the near future. About thirty years after the discovery of the antibiotic, the first resistant strains of bacteria to vancomycin appeared. Since vancomycin is depended upon as the last resort, severe treatment problems occur to patients infected with a resistant strain (Süssmuth, 2006). The usage of vancomycin is on an extreme need basis, to limit exposure for the antibiotic to develop a resistance. As a result of the evolution of resistant strains of bacteria, the effectiveness of vancomycin must be preserved. If vancomycin treatment continually fails due to bacterial evolution, the new strains must be combated with new antibotic treatments. Vancomycin is a fairly recent discovery. It was discovered in the mid 1950’s along with many advances in medicine after the Second World War. Eli Lilly isolated the antibiotic from a culture of gram-positive bacteria in a screening program. Gram Positive bacteria lack a thick cell wall but have a thick layer of peptoglycan, or sugars consisting of peptide chain. Initially vancomycin had many toxic effects which were overcome with advance purification. Over the next 30 years vancomycin went without any significant bacterial resistance. (Betina, 1983)
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The action of the antibotic is to interfere with the essential pathways of the bacterial metabolism. Gram Positive bacteria lack a thick cell wall but have a thick outer layer of peptidoglycan, or sugars consisting of peptide chains, which gives the structural and mechanical stability of the cell wall. The vancomycin attaches to the normal pattern of peptides, D-Ala-D-Ala in the chain to inhibit various substances from entering the cell. The large molecule prevents normal metabolism by locking the cell in from its surroundings. The cell then lacks interaction with its surrounding and causes interference with the ability
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vancomycin2 - Vancomycin: The future of last resort...

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