IUPAC_name = 5-(1-(4-(14-((1"H"-imidazol-5-yl)methyl)- 20-(2-amino-2-oxoethyl)-11-benzyl-8-"sec"- butyl-17-(carboxymethyl)-3,6,9,12,15,18,21- heptaoxo-1,4,7,10,13,16,19-heptaazacyclohenicosan- 2-yl)butylamino)-3-methyl-1-oxopentan-2-ylamino)- 4-(2-(2-(1-amino-2-methylbutyl)-4,5-dihydrothiazole- 4-carboxamido)-4-methylpentanamido)-5-oxopentanoic acid

CAS_number = 1405-87-4
ATC_prefix = D06
ATC_suffix = AX05
ATC_supplemental = ATC|R02|AB04
PubChem = 439542
DrugBank = APRD00816
C = 66 | H = 103 | N = 17 | O = 16 | S = 1
molecular_weight = 1422.69 g/mol
bioavailability =
protein_bound =
metabolism =
elimination_half-life =
pregnancy_category =
legal_status = OTC/℞-only
routes_of_administration = Topical, intramuscular

Bacitracin is a mixture of related cyclic polypeptides produced by organisms of the licheniformis group of "Bacillus subtilis" "var" Tracy, isolation of which was first reported in 1945. The drug's unique name derives from the fact that it was isolated from a girl named Tracy:

One strain isolated from tissue debrided from a compound fracture of the tibia was particularly active. We named this growth-antagonistic strain for the patient, "Tracy I." When cell-free filtrates of broth cultures of this bacillus proved to possess strong antibiotic activity and to be non-toxic, further study seemed warranted. We have called this active principle "Bacitracin." [Johnson B, Anker H, Meleney F (1945). "Bacitracin: a new antibiotic produced by a member of the B. subtilis group".
"Science" 102 (2650): 376–377.]

As a toxic and difficult-to-use antibiotic, bacitracin doesn't work well orally. However, it is very effective topically. Its action is on gram positive cell walls.

Bacitracin is synthesised via the so-called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs), which means that ribosomes are not involved in its synthesis.

Mechanism of action

Bacitracin interferes with the dephosphorylation of the C55-isoprenyl pyrophosphate, a molecule which carries the building blocks of the peptidoglycan bacterial cell wall outside of the inner membrane [ [ Mechanism of Action of Bacitracin: Complexation with Metal Ion and C55-Isoprenyl Pyrophosphate] K. John Stone and Jack L. Strominger] .

Clinical use

Bacitracin is used in human medicine as a polypeptide antibiotic and is "approved by the FDA for use in chickens and turkeys." [ Antibiotic use on the farm hurts people—and doesn’t help the bottom line.] Discover Magazine. Accessed on September 16, 2007.]

As bacitracin zinc salt, and in combination with other topical antibiotics (usually polymyxin B and neomycin), it is used in ointment form for topical treatment of a variety of localized skin and eye infections, as well as for the prevention of wound infections. In the United States a popular brand name Neosporin contains Bacitracin as one of its antibiotic agents along with Neomycin and Polymyxin B. Bacitracin can also be bought in pure form for those with allergies.

It is also commonly used as an aftercare antibiotic on tattoos. It is preferred over Neosporin because of its fewer ingredients, which lowers chances of an allergic reaction. [ [ Tattoo Aftercare Contradictions ] ]

In infants, it is sometimes administered intramuscularly for the treatment of pneumonias. This formulation is sold under the brand name Baciim.

Clinical Note:This is a good alternative to Silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene) for burn patients with Sulfa-Allergy.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bacitracin — (Bacillus subtilis) Strukturformel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bacitracin — acitracin n. (1940) [Bacillus + Margaret Tracy, (a child whose tissues contained {Bacillus subtilis}) + in. RHUD.] a polypeptide antibacterial antibiotic of known chemical structure effective against several types of Gram positive organisms, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bacitracin A — bacitracin acitracin n. (1940) [Bacillus + Margaret Tracy, (a child whose tissues contained {Bacillus subtilis}) + in. RHUD.] a polypeptide antibacterial antibiotic of known chemical structure effective against several types of Gram positive… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bacitracin — bacitracin. См. бацитрацин. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • bacitracin — ☆ bacitracin [bas΄i trā′sin ] n. [arbitrary blend < BACILLUS + (Margaret) Trac(y), name of Am girl (1936 ) from whose wounds the strain was isolated + IN1] an antibiotic obtained from a strain of bacteria (Bacillus subtilis) and used in the… …   English World dictionary

  • bacitracin — noun A nonprescription antibiotic, usually provided in topical ointment form and discovered as a product of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. <!From the discussion page for John Kerry in Wikipedia: , Ive seen it both ways but lower case is more …   Wiktionary

  • bacitracin — An antibacterial antibiotic polypeptide of known chemical structure isolated from cultures of an aerobic, Gram positive, spore bearing bacillus (member of the Bacillus subtilis group); active against hemolytic streptococci …   Medical dictionary

  • bacitracin — noun Etymology: New Latin Bacillus subtilis (species of bacillus producing the toxin) + Margaret Tracy b ab 1936 American child in whose tissues it was found Date: 1945 a polypeptide antibiotic isolated from a bacillus (Bacillus subtilis or B.… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bacitracin — Branched cyclic peptides produced by strains of Bacillus licheniformis. Interfere with murein (peptidoglycan) synthesis in Gram positive bacteria …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • bacitracin — /bas i tray sin/, n. Pharm. an antibiotic polypeptide derived by the hydrolytic action of Bacillus subtilis on protein, primarily used topically in the treatment of superficial infections caused by susceptible Gram positive organisms. [1940 45;… …   Universalium