DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rifampicin antibiotic molecule. Computer model of a molecule of the antibiotic rifampicin. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded; carbon (green), hydrogen (white), oxygen (red) and nitrogen (blue). Rifampicin kills bacteria by inhibiting the enzyme RNA polymerase, which prevents the translation of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) into proteins and so kills the cell. It is used to treat Mycobacterium infections, including pneumonia and leprosy, and in combination with other drugs to treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
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