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a group of natural and semisynthetic antibiotics with similar chemical structures and biological properties. Natural cephalosporins—cephalosporin C and cephalosporin N (penicillin N)—were isolated in 1945 by the Italian microbiologist G. Brotzu from a mold of the genus Cephalosporium. The molecules of all the cephalosporins except cephalosporin N contain 7-aminocephalosporanic acid, which consists of β-lactam (A) and dihydrothiazine (B) rings:

The structure of 7-aminocephalosporanic acid is similar to that of the penicillin nucleus, 6-aminopenicillanic acid, which also contains a β-lactam ring. Since two side chains can be substituted in 7-aminocephalosporanic acid but only one in 6-aminopenicillanic acid, many more semisynthetic derivatives can be obtained from 7-aminocephalosporanic acid.

The cephalosporins are broad-spectrum antimicrobials, proving effective against staphylococci, streptococci, pneumococci, gonococci, meningococci, clostridia, the influenza bacillus (Haemophilus influenzae), Klebsiella, the colon bacillus, and a number of other microorganisms. The antimicrobial action of the cephalosporins is due, as in the case of the penicillins, to their ability to block the formation of the microbial cell wall. Unlike the penicillins, the cephalosporins rarely provoke an allergic reaction, and they are resistant to bacterial enzymes (β-lactamases), which destroy antibiotics.

Physicians generally prescribe semisynthetic cephalosporins, since they are more active than the natural ones. Among the semisynthetic ones are cephaloridine (Ceporin), cephalothin, cefazolin, cephalexin, cephradine, and cephaloglycin, all of which are used in the treatment of infectious diseases caused by microorganisms sensitive to these antibiotics. Since their spectrum of action is very broad, their use is especially indicated in infections of unknown etiology, in mixed infections, and in cases when the causative agent is highly resistant to penicillin or the patient is highly sensitive to penicillin.


Klimov, A. N. Penitsilliny i tsefalosporiny. Leningrad, 1973.
Milevskaia, Iu. L. “Tsefalosporiny (ikh svoistva i preimushchestva): Obzor literatury.” Meditsinskii referativnyi zhurnal, 1975, no. 4, pp. 82–86.


References in periodicals archive ?
Following an assessment by the European Food Safety Agency, the British poultry industry voluntarily stopped using cephalosporins as of December 2011, the BPC added.
if 56% of G3CREC were derived from poultry), 1,518 additional deaths and an associated increase of 67,236 days of hospital admissions would be counted as a result of cephalosporin and other antimicrobial drug use in poultry.
10); yet prescriptions for quinolones grew by 10% and prescriptions for cephalosporins grew by 3% (P less than .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not seen any case of cephalosporin treatment failures in the United States yet.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on certain uses of cephalosporin antibiotics in food animals1 has not won the agency much favor.
Our findings for outpatients show that strict antimicrobial agent usage policy, especially restricting extended-spectrum cephalosporins, could help to control the high carriage rates for these organisms.
We'll be producing active pharmaceutical ingredients required for Cephalosporin antibiotics with a capacity of around 50 tonnes per month," said Ali Moosa Al Balushi, managing director (MD) of DMC.
APHA supports a ban on cephalosporins for use in animals.
In the second phase facilities for Cephalosporin Injectibles, Dry syrups and other formulation will be created.
Experts from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) have run consultations on the veterinary use of fluoroquinolones and modern cephalosporins.
Poor outcome occurs when patients with serious infections due to ESBL producing organisms are treated with cephalosporins even when the cephalosporin MICs are in the intermediate or susceptible range (6).