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Understanding antibiotic resistance

Glossary


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A

acidification

The process of becoming more acidic.

acquired resistance

Resistance to an antibiotic to which a bacterium is innately susceptible. It occurs when a bacterium acquires the ability to resist the actions of a particular antibiotic through either genetic mutation or horizontal gene transfer.

amino acid

The individual unit from which proteins are constructed.


aminoglycoside antibiotics

A class of antibiotics containing an amino sugar that targets protein synthesis, e.g. streptomycin.


amino sugar

A sugar molecule in which a hydroxyl (-OH) group is replaced by an amine (-NH2) group.

antagonists

Substances that interfere with a physiological process.

antibiotic pipeline

Novel antibiotics that are newly discovered or in the development phase before being approved for clinical use.

antibiotic prophylaxis

The use of antibiotics as a precaution to prevent, rather than treat, an infection.

antibiotic resistance

The ability of bacteria to resist the action of antibiotics so that they survive exposure to antibiotics that would normally kill them or stop their growth.


antibodies

Proteins found in blood that are produced as an immune defence against foreign agents.


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