Molecule of the Week


December 3, 2012

Mupirocin is a monoxycarbolic acid antibiotic. It consists of a mixture of pseudomonic acids that are produced by the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. More than 90% of the mixture is pseudomonic acid A (shown), which was isolated, purified, and characterized by A. T. Fuller and co-workers in 1971. First marketed by GlaxoSmithKline under the trade name Bactroban, mupirocin is now also a generic topical drug prescribed for human and veterinary use. In low concentrations, mupirocin is a bacteriostat. At higher levels, it is a bactericide that is effective against Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA.

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