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Mode of action:

Inhibition of protein synthesis. Once inside the bacterial cell, aminoglycosides bind to the 30s ribosomal sub-unit and cause a misreading of the genetic code.  This subsequently leads to the interruption of normal bacterial protein synthesis.



Gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin, streptomycin, kanamycin



Streptomyces spp.

Microsmonospora spp.


Spectrum of activity:

Broad spectrum but NOT effective against anaerobic bacteria


Effect on bacteria:

Bactericidal (dose dependent)


Examples of applications in Veterinary Medicine:

Due to its toxicity, aminoglycoside use has been clinically limited to severe infections.  The more toxic antibiotics in this class have been restricted to topical or oral use for the treatment of infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae. The less toxic aminoglycosedes are used for parenteral treatment of severe sepsis caused by Gram negative aerobes. 




Nephrotoxic and ototoxic; not effective against anaerobic bacteria.



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