Antibiotics: History, Classification, Use, Top Antibiotics,Top Companies (In Details)

Subarna Debbarma (BPT, DNHE)

Antibiotics are a class of powerful medications used to treat bacterial infections in humans and animals. They work by either killing bacteria (bactericidal) or inhibiting their growth and reproduction (bacteriostatic), thereby helping the body's natural immune system to effectively eliminate the infection.

The History Of Antibiotics

1. Ancient Remedies:

   - Humans have been using natural substances with antibacterial properties for centuries, although they didn't understand the science behind them. Examples include the use of honey, moldy bread, and certain plant extracts to treat infections.

2. Discovery of Penicillin (1928):

   - The modern era of antibiotics began with the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928. Fleming, a Scottish bacteriologist, observed that the mold Penicillium notatum produced a substance that killed a wide range of bacteria. This substance was named penicillin, and it marked the first true antibiotic.

3. Development of Penicillin (1940s):

   - The full potential of penicillin was realized during World War II when it was mass-produced for treating infected wounds and infections in soldiers. This development saved countless lives and established antibiotics as a cornerstone of modern medicine.

4. Streptomycin and Beyond (1940s-1950s):

   - After penicillin, other antibiotics like streptomycin were discovered. Streptomycin was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis, a previously deadly disease. The 1940s and 1950s saw a surge in antibiotic discoveries, leading to the development of various drugs to combat bacterial infections.

5. Antibiotic Golden Age (1950s-1960s):

   - This period witnessed the discovery and development of many important antibiotics, including tetracycline, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol. Antibiotics were seen as wonder drugs that could cure a wide range of infections.

6. Antibiotic Resistance (1960s-Present):

   - Over time, bacteria started developing resistance to antibiotics due to their overuse and misuse. This has led to a growing global health concern known as antibiotic resistance. It's essential to use antibiotics judiciously to prevent the development of resistant strains of bacteria.

7. Advances in Antibiotics (1970s-Present):

   - Despite the challenges of antibiotic resistance, researchers have continued to discover and develop new antibiotics. Advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering have also played a role in creating more targeted and effective antibiotics.

How Antibiotics Is Work 

Antibiotics work through various mechanisms to combat bacterial infections. These mechanisms target specific aspects of bacterial structure or function, allowing antibiotics to either kill the bacteria (bactericidal) or inhibit their growth and reproduction (bacteriostatic). Here are some common ways antibiotics work:

1. Inhibition of Cell Wall Synthesis:

   - Many antibiotics, such as penicillins and cephalosporins, work by disrupting the formation of bacterial cell walls. Bacterial cell walls provide structural support and protect the cell from its environment. When antibiotics interfere with cell wall synthesis, the bacteria become vulnerable, leading to cell wall instability and eventual cell lysis (bursting).

2. Disruption of Protein Synthesis:

   - Antibiotics like tetracyclines and aminoglycosides target the bacterial ribosomes, which are responsible for protein synthesis. By binding to the ribosomes, these antibiotics interfere with the process of building new proteins. This disruption prevents the bacteria from producing essential proteins needed for growth and survival.

3. Interference with DNA Replication and Repair:

   - Some antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones, target enzymes involved in bacterial DNA replication and repair. By inhibiting these enzymes, these antibiotics disrupt the bacteria's ability to replicate their genetic material accurately. This interference ultimately hinders bacterial growth and reproduction.

4. Disruption of Metabolic Pathways:

   - Certain antibiotics, like sulfonamides and trimethoprim, interfere with bacterial metabolic pathways. These antibiotics block the synthesis of essential compounds that bacteria need for survival, such as folic acid. Without these vital nutrients, bacterial growth is inhibited.

5. Inhibition of Cell Membrane Function:

   - Antibiotics like polymyxins interact with bacterial cell membranes, disrupting their integrity. This leads to the leakage of cellular contents and the eventual death of the bacterium. Polymyxins are particularly effective against Gram-negative bacteria due to their unique cell membrane structure.

6. Attacking Specific Bacterial Targets:

   - Some antibiotics have a highly specific mode of action, targeting particular enzymes or processes that are unique to certain types of bacteria. For example, drugs like vancomycin are effective against Gram-positive bacteria by binding to and disrupting cell wall synthesis.

It's important to note that antibiotics typically target bacterial cells while sparing human cells. This selectivity is achieved by exploiting differences in the structures and functions of bacterial and human cells. Human cells lack cell walls, ribosomes with the same structure as bacterial ribosomes, and specific bacterial enzymes, making antibiotics less harmful to us.

However, this selectivity also means that antibiotics are not effective against viral infections since viruses are structurally and functionally distinct from bacteria. Additionally, the overuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which pose a significant global health threat.

Classification Of Antibiotics 

Antibiotics can be classified in several ways based on various criteria, including their chemical structure, mechanism of action, and spectrum of activity. Here are some common classifications of antibiotics:

1. Chemical Structure:

   - Beta-lactam Antibiotics: This group includes antibiotics like penicillins and cephalosporins, characterized by a beta-lactam ring in their chemical structure. They inhibit bacterial cell wall synthesis.

   - Macrolides: Antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin belong to this class. They inhibit bacterial protein synthesis.

   - Tetracyclines: Tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline are examples of tetracycline antibiotics. They also inhibit bacterial protein synthesis.

   - Aminoglycosides: Antibiotics like gentamicin, amikacin, and tobramycin fall into this category. They disrupt bacterial protein synthesis.

   - Fluoroquinolones: Ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin are fluoroquinolone antibiotics that target bacterial DNA replication and repair.

   - Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim: These antibiotics, like sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, interfere with bacterial metabolic pathways, specifically the synthesis of folic acid.

2. Mechanism of Action:

   - Cell Wall Inhibitors: Antibiotics that target bacterial cell wall synthesis. This category includes penicillins, cephalosporins, and vancomycin.

   - Protein Synthesis Inhibitors: Antibiotics that disrupt bacterial protein synthesis. This group comprises macrolides, tetracyclines, and aminoglycosides.

   - DNA Synthesis Inhibitors: Antibiotics that interfere with bacterial DNA replication and repair. Fluoroquinolones and metronidazole are examples.

   - Metabolic Inhibitors: Antibiotics that disrupt bacterial metabolic pathways, such as sulfonamides and trimethoprim.

3. Spectrum of Activity:

   - Broad-spectrum Antibiotics: Effective against a wide range of bacteria, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative. Examples include amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin.

   - Narrow-spectrum Antibiotics: Target specific groups of bacteria, either Gram-positive or Gram-negative. Vancomycin, for instance, primarily targets Gram-positive bacteria.

4. Clinical Use:

   - First-line Antibiotics: Antibiotics used as the initial treatment choice for common infections. Examples include amoxicillin for mild respiratory tract infections.

   - Second-line or Reserve Antibiotics: Reserved for specific situations, such as when first-line antibiotics fail or for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These may include carbapenems and linezolid.

5. Antibiotics by Generation:

Some antibiotic classes, like cephalosporins, are classified into generations based on their development and spectrum of activity. First-generation cephalosporins are effective against Gram-positive bacteria, while later generations have broader spectrums that include Gram-negative bacteria.

6. Targeted Bacterial Type:

   - Gram-positive Antibiotics: Antibiotics designed to combat Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Examples include penicillins and vancomycin.

   - Gram-negative Antibiotics: These antibiotics are effective against Gram-negative bacteria like Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones often target Gram-negatives.

   - Atypical Antibiotics: Some antibiotics are effective against atypical bacteria like Mycoplasma and Chlamydia. Examples include azithromycin and doxycycline.

7. Resistance to Beta-lactamase:

   - Some antibiotics are classified based on their ability to resist beta-lactamase enzymes produced by certain bacteria. These include beta-lactamase-resistant penicillins (e.g., oxacillin) and beta-lactamase inhibitors (e.g., clavulanic acid).

8. Route of Administration:

   - Antibiotics can be categorized by their route of administration, such as oral antibiotics (taken by mouth) or intravenous antibiotics (administered through a vein).

Classification of antibiotics
classification of antibiotics 

Note: The global Protein Therapeutics Inhibitors market size was valued at $283.64 Billion in 2020, and is estimated to reach $566.66 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2021 to 2030.

Use And Precautions Of Antibiotics

1. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, but they are not effective against viral infections.

2. Antibiotics work by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause the infection.

3. It's important to use antibiotics only as prescribed by a healthcare professional, and to take the full course of medication as directed.

4. Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which occurs when bacteria develop the ability to resist the effects of antibiotics, making them harder to treat.

5. Antibiotics are an important tool in the treatment of bacterial infections, but they should be used judiciously to help prevent the development of antibiotics resistance.

What are the top 10 antibiotics?

1. Amoxicillin.

2. Penicillin.

3. Cephalexin.

4. Azithromycin.

5. Ciprofloxacin.

6. Doxycycline.

7. Erythromycin.

8. Clindamycin.

9. Levofloxacin.

10. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX).

Top Antibiotics Companies

1. Eli Lilly and Company.

2. Sanofi.

3. Pfizer Inc.

4. Bayer AG.

5. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

6. Boehringer Ingelheim Gmbh.

7. Genentech Inc.

8. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.

9. Johnson & Johnson Services Inc.

10. Merck & Co.

Read More - Botox: Botox non-invasive cosmetic treatments

Testicular Mesothelioma Cancer 

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)