Natural bioactive compounds: antibiotics

  • N. Khandan Dezfully
  • A. Heidari
Keywords: Secondary metabolites, microorganisms, Actinomycetes, Antimicrobial activity, Pharmaceuticals.


Antibiotics are powerful therapeutic agents that are produced by diverse living organisms. Over the last several decades, natural bioactive products particularly antibiotics have continued to play a significant role in drug discovery and has expanded the process for developing drugs with high degree of therapeutic index and specific action. Today, there is an alarming deficiency of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical industry that could be due to the emergence of antibiotic resistance properties of some pathogens, toxicity and undesirable side effects of some used antibiotics. Although much progress has been performed in the field of chemical synthesis and engineered biosynthesis of antimicrobial compounds. Hence, there is a need in approach for novel antibiotics and research to improve the safety as well as therapeutic efficiency of the discovered bioactive compounds as part of the strategy to control the emerging drug-resistant pathogens in research programme around the world. This article reviews the history of antibiotics, different types of antibiotics, mechanisms of antibiotic action and new challenges in antibiotics.

KEYWORDS: Secondary metabolites; microorganisms; Actinomycetes; Antimicrobial
activity; Pharmaceuticals.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1112-9867