Clavulanic acid - Definition

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Clavulanic acid is a substance with the ability to prevent the action of enzymes (beta-lactamases) secreted by certain bacteria (gram +, gram-, and anaerobic). It is therefore sometimes necessary as a complement to penicillin, as the latter is unable to fight bacteria producing beta-lactamases (E. coli, for example). In this way, clavulanic acid optimizes the treatment by eliminating bacteria which are resistant to the antibiotic alone.