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Volume 24, Number 3—March 2018
Etymologia

Etymologia: Rifampin

Ronnie HenryComments to Author 

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Rifampin [rif-amʹpin]

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Thumbnail of Chemical structure of Rifampin. Data deposited in or computed by PubChem, source: PubChem, URL: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Figure. Chemical structure of Rifampin. Data deposited in or computed by PubChem, source: PubChem, URL: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

In 1957, Piero Sensi and colleagues isolated a new bacterium, Streptomyces mediterranei (now Amycolatopsis rifamycinica) (Figure), from a soil sample from a pine forest in France. Material extracted from fermentation broths of A. rifamycinica contained microbiologically active substances that, as a group, were nicknamed Rififi. Rififi (French slang for “trouble”) was a 1955 French gangster film that was popular at the time and became the root of the name “rifamycin” for this group of antimicrobial agents. (Similarly, matamycin was originally nicknamed Mata Hari.) Rifampin (also known as rifampicin) is the N-amino-Nʹ-methylpiperazine (AMP) derivative of rifamycin.

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References

  1. Aronson  J. That’s show business. BMJ. 1999;319:972. DOIPubMed
  2. Sensi  P. History of the development of rifampin. Rev Infect Dis. 1983;5(Suppl 3):S4026. DOIPubMed

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2403.et2403

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Table of Contents – Volume 24, Number 3—March 2018

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Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E03, Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA

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Page created: February 15, 2018
Page updated: February 15, 2018
Page reviewed: February 15, 2018
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