1989, pp 1-23


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The avermectin structures are closely related complex 16-membered macrocyclic lactones. Although they share structural features with the antibacterial macrolides and the antifungal macrocyclic polyenes, the avermectins are not usually grouped with those compounds. Avermectins have neither antibacterial nor antifungal activities and do not inhibit protein or chitin syntheses as do the other two groups. In the avermectins the macrocycle is a backbone for further substitution with a spiroketal unit (C-17 to C-28), a hexahydrobenzofuran unit (C-2 to C-8a), and a disaccharide substituent at C-13 (Fisher and Mrozik 1984, Davies and Green 1986). The milbemycins are structurally related but are missing the C-13 disaccharide substituent (Takiguchi et al. 1980). Although the milbemycins and their potent miticidal and acaricidal properties were discovered shortly before the avermectins, their anthelmintic properties became known only after the discovery of the avermectins.