The Linezolid molecule in 3-D

The Linezolid molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions

Linezolid is an oxazolidinone antibiotic.

Oxazolidinones are a group of synthetic chemicals, some of which were found to have antibiotic properties in the mid 1980s.

Linezolid is one such compound that came to prominence in 1996 and was approved by the FDA in 2000. It was quite expensive but the price has fallen since the end of its patent 1n 2005. It is still not cheap: cost to the UK NHS is £311 per treatment - $138 in the US. Other oxazolidinone antibiotics are currently being developed.

It acts as a protein synthesis inhibitor, preventing the binding of transfer RNA to the bacterial ribosome.

It has been suggested as a means of controlling many bacteria (only Gram-positive) which are resistant to other antibiotics : MRSA , VRE, and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, linezolid- resistant forms of Enterococcus faecium and Staphylococcus aureus have been found but they are not (yet) widespread.

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