Aminoglycosides: An Overview

Aminiglycosides are bactericidal and active against some Gram-positive and many Gram-negative organisms. They are not absorbed from the gut (although there is a risk of absorption in inflammatory bowel disease and liver failure) and must therefore be given by injection for systemic infections.

Following active transport into the cell, they bind irreversibly to a specific aminoglycoside receptor on the bacterial 30S ribosomal subunit and interfere with the initiation complex between messenger RNA and the 30S subunit, thereby inhibiting initiation of protein synthesis, consequently leading to bacterial cell death. In addition, they induce misreading of the mRNA template causing incorrect amino acids to be incorporated into the growing polypeptide chain, consequently interfering with protein elongation.

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