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Antibiotics: Actions, Origins, Resistance

Antibiotics: Actions, Origins, Resistance - Free Ebook Download

Book Detail

Author/Editor(s): Christopher Walsh
Publication Date: February 11, 2003
ISBN-10: 1555818935
ISBN-13: 978-1555818937
Language: English
Edition: 1
Publisher: ASM Press
Size: 12.7 MB
Format: pdf

Book Description

  • A comprehensive account of the structural classes of antibiotics that have impacted human infectious disease.
  • Provides an introduction to antibiotics and examines how antibiotics block specific proteins acting in essential bacterial processes and how the molecular structure of the small-molecule drugs enables their antibiotic activity.
  • Explores the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, including the molecular logic that microbial producers of antibiotics use for self-protection.
  • Addresses the molecular logic of antibiotic biosynthesis, starting with regulatory networks that control gene transcription of secondary metabolites in streptomycetes, and examines the prospects for broadening the base of bacterial targets and also where new antibiotics are likely to emerge, including both synthetic chemical efforts and natural products.

About the Author

Professor Walsh is currently the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He is one of the leading enzymologists in the world. He has elucidated the catalytic mechanisms of a wide variety of enzymes including flavoproteins and other redox enzymes. He has also pioneered the design of mechanism-based enzyme inhibitors (or "suicide" substrates). His work has found practical application in the design of antibacterial agents, anticonvulsive agents, plant growth regulators, and antitumor drugs. His current focus is on the biosynthesis and mechanism of action of antibiotics and bacterial siderophores. He has published over 600 scientific articles and his book, Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms, has educated generations of enzymologists.

Professor Walsh's accomplishments have been recognized through numerous awards which include the Eli Lilly Award in Biochemistry, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in Organic Chemistry, the Repligen Award in Biological Chemistry, and the Alfred Bader Award in Bioorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Walsh's `Antibiotics' is a great introduction to the major classes of antibiotics and how each works, or doesn't, against cells, including not only bacteria but fungi and cancer cells. Each class of antibiotic is described, with step-by-step explanations of the chemical mechanics of the antibiotic on its target. The author discusses the growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and what steps are being taken, in terms of new drug development and new schemes for existing drug use, to overcome this problem. This was a very satisfying read. The information is dense but the author's style is reader-friendly and concise. The text is supported by many illustrations of the mechanics being described and these illustrations are detailed and explicit. I wanted an up-to-date, fairly technical book about antibiotic function and this book fit the bill better than I could have hoped. I look forward to going back to Walsh's book again for an even better understanding.

--Jerry Kurjian, Amazon Customer Reviews
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