RICHARD J. DUMA, M.D., Ph.D.
Since Fleming's Discovery of penicillin almost 50 years ago (2), several closely related types of beta lactams have emerged, each with minor chemical alterations in structures attached to the nucleus that produce profound changes in the biologic properties of the molecule. Chemically, all beta lactams have two characteristics in common: they have bioactive beta lactam rings and they are fused bicyclic compounds. However, now a new and very different class of beta lactams, the monobactams, is entering the antibiotic arena. Although they still have the beta lactam ring, the monobactams are not fused bicyclic compounds.
Monobactams are naturally occurring, and,
DUMA RJ. Aztreonam, the First Monobactam. Ann Intern Med. 1987;106:766–767. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-5-766
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(5):766-767.
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