Azithromycin and novel azalides

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Macrolides represent a well-known family of oral antibiotics. Their spectrum of activity covers most relevant bacterial species responsible for upper and lower respiratory tract infections. In 1952 the first macrolide, erythromycin, was introduced into the market. Erythromycin is active against gram-positive and certain gram-negative microorganisms and is still used to treat infections of the respiratory tract, skin and soft tissues, and genital tract. Macrolides express their antibiotic activity by inhibition of protein synthesis by binding to a 50S ribosome subunit. The precise mode of action is reported elsewhere in this monograph.