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ACCESSION NB: DB00446 (APRD00862, EXPT00942)

TYPE: small molecule

GROUP: approved

An antibiotic first isolated from cultures of Streptomyces venequelae in 1947 but now produced synthetically. It has a relatively simple structure and was the first broad-spectrum antibiotic to be discovered. It acts by interfering with bacterial protein synthesis and is mainly bacteriostatic. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 29th ed, p106)


Anti-Bacterial Agents Protein Synthesis Inhibitors

ABSORPTION: Rapidly and completely absorbed from gastrointestinal tract following oral administration (bioavailability 80%). Well absorbed following intramuscular administration (bioavailability 70%). Intraocular and some systemic absorption also occurs after topical application to the eye.

Used in treatment of cholera, as it destroys the vibrios and decreases the diarrhea. It is effective against tetracycline-resistant vibrios. It is also used in eye drops or ointment to treat bacterial conjunctivitis.

Chloramphenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that was derived from the bacterium Streptomyces venezuelae and is now produced synthetically. Chloramphenicol is effective against a wide variety of microorganisms, but due to serious side-effects (e.g., damage to the bone marrow, including aplastic anemia) in humans, it is usually reserved for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections (e.g., typhoid fever). Chloramphenicol is bacteriostatic but may be bactericidal in high concentrations or when used against highly susceptible organisms. Chloramphenicol stops bacterial growth by binding to the bacterial ribosome (blocking peptidyl transferase) and inhibiting protein synthesis.

Chloramphenicol is lipid-soluble, allowing it to diffuse through the bacterial cell membrane. It then reversibly binds to the L16 protein of the 50S subunit of bacterial ribosomes, where transfer of amino acids to growing peptide chains is prevented (perhaps by suppression of peptidyl transferase activity), thus inhibiting peptide bond formation and subsequent protein synthesis.

Plasma protein binding is 50-60% in adults and 32% is premature neonates.

Hepatic, with 90% conjugated to inactive glucuronide.

Oral, mouse: LD50 = 1500 mg/kg; Oral, rat: LD50 = 2500 mg/kg. Toxic reactions including fatalities have occurred in the premature and newborn; the signs and symptoms associated with these reactions have been referred to as the gray syndrome. Symptoms include (in order of appearance) abdominal distension with or without emesis, progressive pallid cyanosis, vasomotor collapse frequently accompanied by irregular respiration, and death within a few hours of onset of these symptoms.

Enteric bacteria and other eubacteria