Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
any of a variety of substances, usually obtained from microorganisms, that inhibit the growth of or destroy certain other microorganisms. Types of Antibiotics
..... Click the link for more information. effective against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria (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
..... Click the link for more information. ). It was originally isolated from a species of Streptomyces bacteria. Chloramphenicol's antibiotic activity results from its interference with protein synthesis in invading microbes. However, it is a very toxic substance, its most serious and potentially lethal effect being depression of red blood cell production in bone marrowbone marrow,
soft tissue filling the spongy interiors of animal bones. Red marrow is the principal organ that forms blood cells in mammals, including humans (see blood). In children, the bones contain only red marrow.
..... Click the link for more information. ; cases of leukemia were also attributed to early use of chloramphenicol. Because of its toxicity, chloramphenicol is rarely prescribed for infections that can be treated by other antibiotics. It is used as an alternative therapy to treat typhoid fever, some forms of meningitis, and rickettsial infections such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and typhus. Chloramphenicol is commonly used in biological research to study protein synthesis. Chloromycetin is a trade name for chloramphenicol.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
C11H12O2N2Cl2 A colorless, crystalline, broad-spectrum antibiotic produced by Streptomyces venezuelae; industrial production is by chemical synthesis. Also known as chloromycetin.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.