mode of action
Last reviewed 01/2018
The penicillins interfere with cell wall synthesis and are bactericidal. They cause inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis through the inhibition of a membrane-bound transpeptidase.
The weakened cell wall results in lysis and cell wall death.
Bacterial resistance occurs as a result of bacterial production of beta-lactimase (penicillinase) that splits the beta-lactam ring of the penicillin nucleus.
The principle organisms that produce penicillinase are:
- Staph aureus
- E. coli
- Proteus mirabilis
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa