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Streptomyces is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria that grows in various environments, and its shape resembles filamentous fungi. The morphological differentiation of Streptomyces involves the formation of a layer of hyphae that can differentiate into a chain of spores. The most interesting property of Streptomyces is the ability to produce bioactive secondary metabolites, such as antifungals, antivirals, antitumorals, anti-hypertensives, immunosuppressants, and especially antibiotics. The production of most antibiotics is species specific, and these secondary metabolites are important for Streptomyces species in order to compete with other microorganisms that come in contact, even within the same genre. Despite the success of the discovery of antibiotics, and advances in the techniques of their production, infectious diseases still remain the second leading cause of death worldwide, and bacterial infections cause approximately 17 million deaths annually, affecting mainly children and the elderly. Self-medication and overuse of antibiotics is another important factor that contributes to resistance, reducing the lifetime of the antibiotic, thus causing the constant need for research and development of new antibiotics. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.


Rudi Emerson de Lima Procópio, Ingrid Reis da Silva, Mayra Kassawara Martins, João Lúcio de Azevedo, Janete Magali de Araújo. Antibiotics produced by Streptomyces. The Brazilian journal of infectious diseases : an official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases. 2012 Sep-Oct;16(5):466-71

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PMID: 22975171

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