Definition: An enzyme produced by many species of bacteria that disrupts the four-membered ß-lactam ring of penicillin and cephalosporin groups of antibiotics, destroying their antimicrobial activity. The ability of an organism to produce a ß-lactamase may be chromosomal and constitutive or a plasmid-associated acquired property.
Synonym(s): cephalosporinase, lactamase, penicillinase1
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Examples: glitazone, GI cocktail, etc.
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