Sulfathiazole sodium salt is a short-acting sulfa drug. It was a common oral and topical antibiotic until less toxic alternatives were discovered. It is no longer used in humans. Sulfathiazole is added to the diet of laboratory animals to inhibit folate formation by gut bacteria. This ensures that the animal′s only source of available folate is from their diet. Sulfathiazole is a sulfonamide antibiotic that blocks the synthesis of dihydrofolic acid by inhibiting the enzyme dihydropteroate synthase. Sulfathiazole is a competitive inhibitor of bacterial para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which is required for bacterial synthesis of folic acid. It is active against Gram positive bacteria, Gram negative bacteria and Chlamydia. Mode of resistance is via the alteration of dihydropteroate synthase or alternative pathway for folic acid synthesis.
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