Actinomycetes as Continued Source of New Antibacterial Leads

  • Iqbal Ahmad
  • Abdullah Safar AlthubianiEmail author
  • Muzammil Shareif Dar
  • Samreen
  • Faizan Abul Qais
  • Hussein Hasan Abulreesh
  • Majid Abdullah Bamaga
  • Saleh Bakheet Al-Ghamdi
  • Fatimah Alshehrei


Early antibiotic discovery program has witnessed significant role of mainly Streptomyces in antibiotic/drug discovery program. Due to various constraints, both academic and industry levels, the discovery of new antibiotics with novel mode of action is drastically slowed down in the last three decades. Rapid development and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria globally have reduced the utility and effectiveness of old antibiotics. Therefore, the discovery of novel antibacterial compounds is urgently needed to combat antimicrobial resistance. However, natural product-based academic research could prove to be a sustained mine of novel antimicrobial leads. According to an estimate among the bioactive compounds that have been obtained so far from microbes, 45% are produced by actinomycetes, 38% by fungi, and 17% by unicellular eubacteria. This has become possible because of great diversity of actinomycetes in different habitat and their extraordinary capacity to synthesize new antibiotics. The development in the screening strategies and the use of modern biochemical and molecular approaches have made possible to detect new compounds. In this chapter, we have focused on general characteristics of soil and marine actinomycetes and improved screening strategies adapted by various workers. A recent update is also provided to highlight the role of actinomycetes as the continued source of novel antibacterial lead compound and their future prospects.


Actinomycetes Antibacterial Antibiotics Screening strategy Antibiotic resistance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iqbal Ahmad
    • 1
  • Abdullah Safar Althubiani
    • 2
    Email author
  • Muzammil Shareif Dar
    • 1
  • Samreen
    • 1
  • Faizan Abul Qais
    • 1
  • Hussein Hasan Abulreesh
    • 2
  • Majid Abdullah Bamaga
    • 3
  • Saleh Bakheet Al-Ghamdi
    • 4
  • Fatimah Alshehrei
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural SciencesAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Applied ScienceUmm Al-Qura UniversityMakkahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Medical Laboratory SciencesFakeeh College for Medical SciencesJeddahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceAl-Baha UniversityBahaSaudi Arabia

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