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Name: Aleksandra
Status: Student
Age: 20s
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Date: N/A 

Why is the bacterial cell wall a good target for antibacterial action?

Once the cell wall is there it is not a good target, but the enzymes that produce bacterial cell walls are very specific, and sensitive to specific inhibitors. In that way we can produce specific antibiotics that are harmless to our own cells. These antibiotics are bacteriostatic (they stop bacyteria from growing) in stead of bacteriocidic (killing existing bacteria). That can be of key importance, since dead bacteria may release highly toxic compounds in vaste amounts. In other words, killing all pathogenic bacteria present in your body during a serious infection (like sepsis) can be life-threatening. In that case it is better to stop the bacteria from multiplying, and let the body cope with the existing bugs.

Trudy Wassenaar

Bacteria cannot properly divide unless they can make new walls. So inhibiting the production of new cell wall (as ampicillin does, for example) is one way of preventing bacteria from multiplying. Drugs such as ampicillin do not kill bacteria - they only prevent them from dividing. Our bodies' defenses then can kill the original bacteria without having to worry about their tremendously rapid rate of multiplication.


Because it's easy to reach. If you target something INSIDE the bacterium, you have to somehow get there.


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