from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various broad-spectrum antibiotics, closely related to the penicillins, that were originally derived from the fungus Cephalosporium acremonium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a class of natural and synthetic antibiotics developed from Cephalosporium fungi, having a cepham structure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. any of a class of chemical substances, some of which have therapeutically useful antibacterial activity, whose structure contains a beta-lactam ring fused to a six-membered ring containing a sulfur and a nitrogen atom. The first of the series, cephalosporin C, was discovered by G. Brotzu in 1955 in the culture broth of a Cephalosporium species found off the coast of Sardinia. Other cephalosporins have been found to be produced by species of soil bacteria (actinomycetes). Many semisynthetic analogs have been tested for antibacterial effect, and several of them have found use as important clinically useful antibacterial agents, some of which may be taken orally for treatment of bacterial infections. The cephalosporins are the second class of beta-lactam antibiotic to be discovered, the first being the penicillins and more recent classes being the thienamycins and sulfazecins. The cephamycins are a variant of cephalosporins with a methoxyl group on the beta-lactam ring, rendering them more resistant to penicillinases. Among the cephalosporins which have been found clinically useful are cephalexin, cephaloridine, and cephalothin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of several broad spectrum antibiotic substances obtained from fungi and related to penicillin (trade names Mefoxin); addition of side chains has produced semisynthetic antibiotics with greater antibacterial activity


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin Cephalosporium, genus name (cephalo- + spora, spore; see spore) + -in.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From modern Latin Cephalosporium, a genus of fungi.



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  • Seen in the Wikipedia article on syphilis: "However, cross-reactions in penicillin-allergic patients with cephalosporins such as ceftriaxone are possible."

    April 6, 2009