Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
The ability of microorganisms that produce the enzyme beta-lactamase (penicillinase) to resist the action of certain types of antibiotics, including some but not all forms of penicillin. Beta-lactamases make these microorganisms resistant to antibiotics by catalyzing the destruction of the beta-lactam ring that is essential for their antibacterial activity.
See also: resistance
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners