An enzyme that can inactivate penicillin, produced by certain bacteria.
- For example, the resistance to penicillin initially was due to production of an enzyme penicillinase by bacteria, antibiotics like cloxallin were developed which was resistant to penicillinase enzyme.
- A control gene regulates the production of an enzyme that destroys the antibiotic, e.g. penicillinase which destroys penicillin.
- Penicillin was first used in the early 1940s and by 1950, most Staphylococcus aureus organisms were resistant to the drug by virtue of elaboration of a penicillinase enzyme.
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