Citation

Mg. Watve et al., How many antibiotics are produced by the genus Streptomyces?, ARCH MICROB, 176(5), 2001, pp. 386-390

Citations number

27

Language

INGLESE

art.tipo

Editorial Material

Categorie Soggetti

Microbiology

Journal title

ARCHIVES OF MICROBIOLOGY

ISSN journal

0302-8933
→ ACNP

Volume

176

Issue

5

Year of publication

2001

Pages

386 - 390

Database

ISI

SICI code

0302-8933(200111)176:5<386:HMAAPB>2.0.ZU;2-G

Abstract

Streptomyces is the largest antibiotic-producing genus in the microbial wor
ld discovered so far. The number of antimicrobial compounds reported from t
he 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 wi
th a substantial decline in the late 1980s and 1990s. The cumulative number
shows a sigmoid curve that is much flatter than what a logistic equation w
ould predict. We attempted to fit a mathematical model to this curve in ord
er to estimate the number of undiscovered antimicrobials from this genus as
well as to predict the trends in the near future. A model assuming that th
e screening efforts are encouraged by a previous year's success and that th
e probability of finding a new antibiotic is a function of the fraction of
antibiotics undiscovered so far offered a good fit after optimizing paramet
ers. The model estimated the total number of antimicrobial compounds that t
his genus is capable of producing to be of the order of a 100,000 - a tiny
fraction of which has been unearthed so far. The decline in the slope appea
red to be due to a decline in screening efforts rather than an exhaustion o
f compounds. Left to itself, the slope will become zero in the next one or
two decades, but if the screening efforts are maintained constant, the rate
of discovery of new compounds will not decline for several decades to come
.