Antibiotics pp 142-152 | Cite as

Polymyxins and Circulin

  • Oldrich K. Sebek


Polymyxins are peptide antibiotics which have almost identical biological properties and very similar chemical characteristics. Their discovery was announced in 1947 independently in the United States (Benedict and Langlykke, 1947; Stansly et al., 1947), and in England (Ainsworth et al, 1947). It soon became apparent that all three groups of investigators had discovered closely related substances. At a conference in 1948 which was organized by the New York Academy of Sciences to clarify the relationship among these antibiotics (Minor, 1949), five major and chemically distinct polymyxins were recognized and designated alphabetically as polymyxins A-E. The original aerosporin of Ainsworth et al. became polymyxin A and the material discovered by Stansly et al. was named polymyxin D. Polymyxin E was found to be identical with colistin1 (Wilkinson, 1963; Wilkinson and Lowe, 1964). Still another member of this group was described by Khokhlov et al. (1960) and designated as polymyxin M.


Peptide Antibiotic Bacillus Circulans Rhodospirillum Rubrum Bacillus Polymyxa Cationic Detergent 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1967

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  • Oldrich K. Sebek

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