Antibiotics and specialized metabolites from the human microbiota

Nat Prod Rep. 2017 Nov 15;34(11):1302-1331. doi: 10.1039/c7np00021a.


Covering: 2000 to 2017Decades of research on human microbiota have revealed much of their taxonomic diversity and established their direct link to health and disease. However, the breadth of bioactive natural products secreted by our microbial partners remains unknown. Of particular interest are antibiotics produced by our microbiota to ward off invasive pathogens. Members of the human microbiota exclusively produce evolved small molecules with selective antimicrobial activity against human pathogens. Herein, we expand upon the current knowledge concerning antibiotics derived from human microbiota and their distribution across body sites. We analyze, using our in-house chem-bioinformatic tools and natural products database, the encoded antibiotic potential of the human microbiome. This compilation of information may create a foundation for the continued exploration of this intriguing resource of chemical diversity and expose challenges and future perspectives to accelerate the discovery rate of small molecules from the human microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Molecular Structure


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents