The structure of the carbapenems is such that it makes them highly resistant to the beta lactamases, or most them that exist today. Their structure and form renders them a potency and power that is not found in the other antibiotics, not even in penicillin. As you might have guessed, the name carbapenems is derived from the term carbon. This is because although they share almost the same structure with penicillin. The sulfur atom that is in penicillin has been replaced by a carbon atom in Carbapenem and hence that name. Although the carbapenems have undergone a lot of evolution, they were originally formed from thienamycin, which was synthesized from streptomyces cattleya.
As you look for information about the structure of the carbapenems, it is also important for you to consider their mechanism of action so that you know about their penicillin binding protein activity. This is also referred to as their affinity to the PBP. This is what defines what, among the horde of Carbapenems available in the market, is most appropriate for a certain strain of bacteria.
The entrant of the carbapenems in the market was a sign that at least, the bacteria and super bugs that people pick up in the hospitals ICUs and HDUs would now be fully combated. The going had been good until recently when it was discovered in Asia that there were bacteria that showed strains of carbapenems. This meant that some bacteria had become resistant to this treatment, leaving the medical practitioners at a loss. To date, there is still no antibiotic in the market that can combat the resistant bacteria which, discovered in Asia, have managed to find their way to the UK. As research goes on round the clock, the hope is that soon, there will be a cure for these drug resistant bacteria. However, as of now, there isn’t.
When the Carbapenem binds with the penicillin binding proteins, it prevents the synthesis of the cell wall of the bacteria. It is also highly resistant to beta lactamase thus making it potent enough to hinder the gram negative and aerobic bacteria from thriving. It does the same for the gram-positive anaerobic bacteria too. To put it simply, there is every need to make sure that if a person suspects that they have collected a super bug in the hospital, then they should quickly go for a diagnosis and prognosis. Of course, if theirs is not a Carbapenem resistant bug, they will get their dosage of the Carbapenem in IV administration.
Because of the discovery of carbapenems, many deadly bacteria infections have been taken care of. Such include infections from the Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. This has contributed a great deal to the reduction of deaths from bacterial infections. Bacterial meningitis is now curable with the administration of meropenem, to name but just that. Although the emergence of the carbapenems resistant bacteria paints a grim picture for the medical fraternity, you can be sure that sooner or later, A better, more powerful Carbapenem will be developed to curb that. There could also be other antibiotics in the market that can overcome the Carbapenem resistant bacteria, but they too are bound to fail. Currently, the most potent antibiotics in the market are the carbapenems.
Medical practitioners have a variety of carbapenems to choose from. In the USA alone, there are four of them, the latest having hit the market in 2007. It is thus the duty of the practitioner to choose what is best by considering the structure, the action mechanism and many more such factors. To understand the structure of the carbapenems, it calls for expert knowledge in medicine so that one can at least understand the technical jargon.