Chloramphenicol (Molecule of the Month for January 2006)
Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that was derived from the bacterium Streptomyces venezuelae, though now is produced synthetically. Chloramphenicol act as an antibiotic against a wide variety of microorganisms, but due to serious side-effects in humans, it is usually reserved for the treatment of serious and life-threatening infections (e.g., cholera and typhoid fever).
Chloramphenicol is also used in external treatments such as eye drops or ointment to treat bacterial conjunctivitis.
Chloramphenicol stops bacterial growth by binding to the bacterial ribosome and inhibiting protein synthesis.
Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for January 2006 )