Chapter 1

Prospects of Actinobacteria from Underexplored Ecosystems as Anti-infective Agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

K. Tamreihao, Saikat Mukherjee, Debananda S. Ningthoujam and Subhra Saikat Roy


About one-third of the world’s population is infected with a deadly communicable disease called Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A majority of this infected population is confined in South-East Asia, especially India. With the emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains through the sequential accumulation of chromosomal mutations, the disease has become the 9th leading cause of death worldwide. The need of the hour is to discover new antiinfective drugs that have low toxicity, potent activity, are cost-effective, and have a novel target against the MDR M. Tuberculosis strain, to combat the dreaded disease. Actinobacteria can be a good candidate for the discovery of new anti-TB drugs as they are prolific producers of antibiotics that can be used for the treatment of different infectious diseases. The exploration of anti-infective agents from soil actinobacteria is exhausting, and the frequency of extracting novel compounds is declining because of the redundancy in the isolation of bioactive actinobacteria. Nevertheless, there is great prospect for the discovery of effective anti-TB drugs from actinobacteria that are isolated from unique, extreme and unexplored/under-explored ecosystems, such as marine, cave, endophytes from medicinal plants, etc. Anti-TB compounds extracted from actinobacteria, especially Streptomyces sp., associated with medicinal plants, marine etc. display good activity against MDR M. tuberculosis and low toxicity towards macrophage and normal cells. Further exploration of new anti-TB agents from novel and rare actinobacteria from unique, extreme and unexplored/under-explored ecosystems that have a novel target against MDR strain, is the need of the hour to suppress the dissemination and development of TB.

Total Pages: 1-20 (20)

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