Linezolid (Molecule of the Month for May 2006)
Linezolid is a antibiotic drug. It was the first commercially available oxazolidinone antibiotic and is usually reserved for the treatment of serious bacterial infections where older antibiotics have failed due to antibiotic resistance. Conditions such as skin infections or nosocomial pneumonia where methicillin or penicillin resistance is found are times for linezolid use. The oxazolidinone class was discovered by researchers at E.I. duPont de Nemours and reported in 1987.
The drug works by inhibiting the initiation of bacterial protein synthesis; it is the only antibiotic to work in this manner. That and its synthetic nature raised hopes that bacteria would be unable to develop resistance to it and reduce the chance of cross-resistance.
Linezolid is effective against gram-positive pathogens, notably Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pyogenes. It has almost no effect on gram-negative bacteria and is only bacteriostatic against most Enterococcus species.
Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for May 2006 )