Teicoplanin is a glycopeptide antibiotic. It is a mixture of several compounds, five major (named teicoplanin A2-1 through A2-5) and four minor (named teicoplanin RS-1 through RS-4). All teicoplanins are characterised by the same glycopeptidic core, called teicoplanin A3-1, which is a fused ring structure to which two carbohydrates (mannose and N-acetylglucosamine) are attached. Teicolanins also contain a third carbohydrate moiety, β-D-glucosamine, and differ only by the length and conformation of a side chain attached to it.

This is a naturally occurring mixture of several closely related compounds with a spectrum of activity similar to that of vancomycin, although some coagulase-negative staphylococci are less susceptible to teicoplanin. Some strains of enterococci that are resistant to vancomycin (those with the VanB phenotype) retain susceptibility to teicoplanin. Unlike vancomycin, teicoplanin can be administered by intramuscular injection; it also has a much longer plasma half-life than vancomycin and a reduced propensity to cause adverse reactions.


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