The antibiotic vancomycin blocks the construction of bacterial cell walls.
through biology and medicine
Antibiotics have saved countless lives, but pathogens are quickly finding ways to survive antibiotic treatment. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are predicted to become the leading cause of death worldwide, with an expected death rate of 10 million people annually by 2050. They take many approaches: pumping antibiotics out of their cells, altering the molecular machinery that the antibiotics target, and attacking the antibiotics directly. Atomic structures publicly available in the PDB are revealing the details of drug resistance and providing new ways to combat it.
Antibiotics are one of the miracles of modern medicine, allowing us to fight infection by pathogenic bacteria. Antibiotics attack essential molecular machines in bacteria, stopping or slowing their action and ultimately killing the cell.
Antibiotics are one of the miracles of modern medicine, allowing us to fight infection by pathogenic bacteria. Explore how antibiotics attack essential molecular machines in bacteria with this interactive animation.