Many antibiotics are made from?

Sven Howell asked a question: Many antibiotics are made from?
Asked By: Sven Howell
Date created: Mon, Jul 12, 2021 8:55 PM
Date updated: Sat, Jul 2, 2022 9:55 AM


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Most of the currently available antibiotics are produced by prokaryotes mainly by bacteria from the genus Streptomyces.

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Most antibiotics are based on natural products synthesized by bacteria and fungi. Quinolones (like Cipro) and sulfa drugs (like sulfamethoxazole) are the major exceptions to this rule.

Antibiotics are chemical substances that can inhibit the growth of, and even destroy, harmful microorganisms. They are derived from special microorganisms or other living systems, and are produced on an industrial scale using a fermentation process.

Some antibiotics are produced naturally by fungi. These include the cephalosporin producing Acremonium chrysogenum. Geldanamycin is produced by Streptomyces hygroscopicus. Erythromycin is produced by what was called Streptomyces erythreus and is now known as Saccharopolyspora erythraea.

Streptomyces is the largest antibiotic-producing genus in the microbial world discovered so far. The number of antimicrobial compounds reported from the species of this genus per year increased almost exponentially for about two decades, followed by a steady rise to reach a peak in the 1970s, and with a substantial decline in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Sometimes, the term antibiotic—literally "opposing life", from the Greek roots ἀντι anti, "against" and βίος bios, "life"—is broadly used to refer to any substance used against microbes, but in the usual medical usage, antibiotics (such as penicillin) are those produced naturally (by one microorganism fighting another), whereas nonantibiotic antibacterials (such as sulfonamides and antiseptics) are fully synthetic.

“Many spices—such as clove, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and cumin—possessed significant antibacterial and antifungal activities against food spoilage bacteria like Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, harmful fungi like Aspergillus flavus, even antibiotic resistant microorganisms such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Antibiotics are screened for any negative effects before their approval for clinical use, and are usually considered safe and well tolerated. However, some antibiotics have been associated with a wide extent of adverse side effects ranging from mild to very severe depending on the type of antibiotic used, the microbes targeted, and the individual patient.

In the year 2000, antibiotic production in the United States totalled 50 million pounds. Accurate figures are hard to obtain, but assuming this level of production for the past 20 years, it can be estimated that one billion pounds were made during this time.

"China is the world's largest exporter of vitamins and antibiotic raw materials," he said, according to an NBC News translation.

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