Streptomyces from traditional medicine: sources of new innovations in antibiotic discovery

Gerry Quinn, Aiya Banat, Alyaa M Abdelhameed, Ibrahim M Banat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)
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Given the increased reporting of multi-resistant bacteria and the shortage of newly approved medicines, researchers have been looking towards extreme and unusual environments as a new source of antibiotics. Streptomyces currently provides many of the world’s clinical antibiotics, so it comes as no surprise that these bacteria have recently been isolated from traditional medicine. Given the wide array of traditional medicines, it is hoped that these discoveries can provide the much sought after core structure diversity that will be required of a new generation of antibiotics. This review discusses the contribution of Streptomyces to antibiotics and the potential of newly discovered species in traditional medicine. We also explore how knowledge of traditional medicines can aid current initiatives in sourcing new and chemically diverse antibiotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1048
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the help of Dr Dušica Vujaklija, who took time to read over this article and make helpful suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Microbiology Society. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • ethnopharmacology
  • extreme environment
  • endophytes
  • pathogens
  • secondery metabolites
  • silent gene clusters


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