Renaissance in Antibacterial Discovery From Actinomycetes

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;8(5):557-63. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.04.008. Epub 2008 Jun 3.


The soil actinomycetes have been important sources of antibiotics, but were nearly abandoned in recent years in favor of high-throughput target-based screening of chemical libraries. The latter approach has not been productive, so it is time to reinvigorate the discovery of new antibiotics from a proven source. Recent progress has been made on antibiotic discovery from actinomycetes by using high-throughput fermentation, isolation of marine actinomycetes, mining genomes for cryptic pathways, and combinatorial biosynthesis to generate new secondary metabolites related to existing pharmacophores.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / chemistry*
  • Actinobacteria / genetics
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Fermentation
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents