Part of the Springer Series in Microbiology book series (SSMIC)
The Antibiotics: An Overview
Antibiotics are low molecular weight microbial metabolites that at low concentrations inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. The term low molecular weight substances refers to molecules of at most a few thousand daltons. We do not include among the antibiotics those enzymes, such as lysozyme, and other complex protein molecules that also have antibacterial properties. If the definition were to be adhered to rigorously, the only substances to be considered antibiotics would be the natural products of microorganisms. However, we now include in the category the following semisynthetic antibiotic substances:
products obtained by chemical modification of natural antibiotics or of other products of microbial metabolism;
products obtained by microbiological transformation of synthetic compounds.
KeywordsFermentation Tuberculosis Bacillus Polypeptide Macromolecule
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1982