Discovery and development of cephalosporins
Cephalosporins are a broad class of bactericidal antibiotics that include the β-lactam ring and share a structural similarity and mechanism of action with other β-lactam antibiotics (e.g. penicillins, carbapenems and monobactams). The cephalosporins (and other β-lactams) have the ability to kill bacteria by inhibiting essential steps in the bacterial cell wall synthesis which in the end results in osmotic lysis and death of the bacterial cell. Cephalosporins are widely used antibiotics because of their clinical efficiency and desirable safety profile.The cephalosporins are diverse in their antibacterial spectrum, water solubility, acid tolerability, oral bioavailability, biological half-life and other properties. Therefore the cephalosporins can be further classified into generations depending on antibacterial activity, time of invention and structural basis.