Mechanisms of Antibiotic Action

2.1DID YOU KNOW…

·        Antibiotics are defence mechanisms that destroy unknown bacteria in the body

·        The first Antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered accidently by Sir Alexander Fleming back in 1928 using mould culture.

·        Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing issues!!

WHAT IS MECHANISM OF ACTION?

2.2A mode of action is the way in which a drug produces its therapeutic effect in the human body. Antibiotics have 5 known mechanisms of action.

1.    INHIBITION OF CELL WALL SYNTHESIS

The primary functions of the cell wall is to maintain cell shape and provide a layer of protection for the cell. In addition to their cell walls, bacterial call walls contain peptidoglycan, a protein responsible for maintaining cell shape of bacterial cells. Certain antibiotics destroy bacteria by destroying their cell wall, thus reducing the strength of the cell.

2. INHIBITION OF PROTEIN SYNTHESIS

Protein synthesis is a vital process for the multiplication and survival of bacteria. Some antibiotics affect a certain ribosome during protein synthesis and this negatively affects the entire process, this killing bacteria all together.

3.   INHIBITION OF PLASMA MEMBRANE

The plasma membrane of bacteria is a semi-permeable barrier. Certain antibiotics affect the overall structure and function of plasma membrane, leading to the loss of vital solutes as well as preventing the entry of vital metabolites. As a result, the bacteria dies due to lack of essential nutrients.

4.  INHIBITION OF NUCLEIC ACID SYNTHESIS

DNA is vital for the replication of the bacterium. These specific antibiotics affect replication as well as the transcription phase of protein synthesis in DNA. These    antibiotics also bind the components of both DNA and RNA Synthesis which affects normal processes of the bacterium.

5.   INHIBITION OF ESSENTIAL METABOLITES SYNTHESIS

This antibiotic targets the certain cellular processes that aid in bacterial survival, for example the folic acid pathway that is directly linked to DNA synthesis. This antibiotic also mimics a substrate, preventing    enzymes from coming into contact with the actual substrate. The removal of the actual substrate reduces the production of metabolites which reduces the health of the bacterium.2.3

In conclusion, antibiotics are essential in helping out bodies fight off pathogenic bacteria, reducing the risk of our bodies being susceptible to bacteria-induced diseases.

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