The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2

How It Works

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Introduction | History | How It Works

Uses | Typhoid Fever | Side Effects

Synthetic Production | U.S. and the West



Chloramphenicol attacks bacterial cell’s ribosomes (protein creators), disturbing the cell’s ability to metabolize and synthesize new protein, and therefore killing the cell. It also stops the cell from dividing, and the immune system is then able to destroy the bacterial cell.

Chloramphenicol is unique in its structure because it “has groups… that are not usually seen in antibiotics” (“Chloramphenicol,” 2007). These groups are the dichloroacetamide group and the aryl nitro group. The aryl nitro group is of specific importance because it has been implicated as the cause of the side effect aplastic anemia. It is theorized that the aryl nitro group is “reduced to form an intermediate” and that this “intermediate… then interacts with the ferrous ion in hemoglobin and oxidizes it to a ferric state” (“Chloramphenicol,” 2007). In this ferric state, the hemoglobin will be unable to carry oxygen, causing anemia. chlo.png

Tags: Chloramphenicol