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The tetracyclines are broad spectrum antibiotics. There use however has decreased as a result of widespread resistance. They are actively transported into and concentrated by bacteria where they interact 30S to interfere with tRNA aminoacyl binding to the acceptor site.

The tetracyline group is distinguished more by pharmacokinetics than by antibacterial activity.

They still remain the antibiotics of choice in the treatment of infections due to:-

  • chlamydia - Trachoma, psittacosis, salpingitis, urethritis and lymphogranuloma venereum
  • rickettsia - Q-fever
  • mycoplasma
  • brucella
  • borrelia burgdorferi - Lyme disease

Last reviewed 01/2018