vancomycin

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Related to Vancomicin: Vancomycin resistant enterococcus

vancomycin

(văn'kōmī`sĭn), antibioticantibiotic,
any of a variety of substances, usually obtained from microorganisms, that inhibit the growth of or destroy certain other microorganisms. Types of Antibiotics
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 resembling penicillinpenicillin,
any of a group of chemically similar substances obtained from molds of the genus Penicillium that were the first antibiotic agents to be used successfully in the treatment of bacterial infections in humans.
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 in the way it acts. It is derived from the bacterium Streptomyces orientalis, which was isolated from soil of India and Indonesia. Vancomycin destroys Gram-positive bacteria, especially staphylococci and enterococci (see Gram's stainGram's stain,
laboratory staining technique that distinguishes between two groups of bacteria by the identification of differences in the structure of their cell walls. The Gram stain, named after its developer, Danish bacteriologist Christian Gram, has become an important tool
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). It seems to function by inhibiting the formation of the bacterial cell wall, as does penicillin; it may also cause damage to the cell membrane. The drug is intensely irritating to tissues and is usually used only for infections where microorganisms are resistant to penicillin (see drug resistancedrug resistance,
condition in which infecting bacteria can resist the destructive effects of drugs such as antibiotics and sulfa drugs. Drug resistance has become a serious public health problem, since many disease-causing bacteria are no longer susceptible to previously
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). Vancomycin must be administered intravenously because it is not absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Mutant microorganisms resistant to vancomycin are rare.

vancomycin

[‚vaŋ·kə′mīs·ən]
(microbiology)
A complex antibiotic substance produced by Streptomyces orientalis; useful for treatment of severe staphylococcic infections.
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