Mupirocin also known as pseudomonic acid, is a component of the antibiotic complex produced by the bacterium P. fluorescens. The novel structure consists of monic acid with a short fatty acid side-chain (Fig. 1). The terminal portion of the molecule distal to the fatty acid mimics isoleucine, and mupirocin inhibits protein synthesis by blocking incorporation of the amino acid into polypeptides. The analogous process in mammalian cells is unaffected.

Figure 1. Chemical structure of mupirocin

The spectrum of activity includes staphylococci and streptococci, but excludes most enteric Gram-negatives. Systemic use of mupirocin is prevented by inactivated in the body and, as a consequence, its use is restricted to topical preparations. Mupirocin has proved particularly useful in the eradication of staphylococci from nasal carriage sites (MRSA).


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