Concept

Bacitracin

Summary
Bacitracin is a polypeptide antibiotic. It is a mixture of related cyclic peptides produced by Bacillus licheniformis bacteria, that was first isolated from the variety "Tracy I" (ATCC 10716) in 1945. These peptides disrupt gram-positive bacteria by interfering with cell wall and peptidoglycan synthesis. Bacitracin is primarily used as a topical preparation, as it can cause kidney damage when used internally. It is generally safe when used topically, but in rare cases may cause hypersensitivity, allergic or anaphylactic reactions, especially in people allergic to neomycin. Bacitracin is used in human medicine as a polypeptide antibiotic and is "approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in chickens and turkeys," though use in animals contributes to antibiotic resistance. As bacitracin zinc salt, in combination with other topical antibiotics (usually polymyxin B and neomycin) as an ointment ("triple antibiotic ointment," with the brand name Neosporin), it is used for topical treatment of a variety of localized skin and eye infections, as well as for the prevention of wound infections. A non-ointment form of ophthalmic solution is also available for eye infections. Bacitracin is a narrow-spectrum antibiotic. It targets gram-positive bacteria, especially those that cause skin infections. The following represents susceptibility data for a few medically significant microorganisms. Staphylococcus aureus – ≤0.03 μg/mL – 700 μg/mL Staphylococcus epidermidis – 0.25 μg/mL – >16 μg/mL Streptococcus pyogenes – 0.5 μg/mL – >16 μg/mL Bactoprenol phosphate Bacitracin interferes with the dephosphorylation of C55-isoprenyl pyrophosphate, and a related molecule known as bactoprenol pyrophosphate; both of these lipids function as membrane carrier molecules that transport the building-blocks of the peptidoglycan bacterial cell wall outside of the inner membrane. Bacitracin was isolated by Balbina Johnson, a bacteriologist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
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