Beta-lactam antibiotics

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Beta-lactam is ring-shaped structure (cyclic amide), present as the central structure of several antibiotics. Certain bacteria can produce beta-lactamases which enzymatically degrade antibiotics containing this chemical structure, but resistance can be overcome by combining the β-lactam antiobiotic with a β-lactamase inhibitor, e.g. co-amoxiclav is amoxicillin with clavulinic acid.