A review on Actinomycetes distribution, isolation, and their medical applications

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Biological sciences, Faculty of science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

2 King Fahd Medical Research center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Actinomycetes (Actinobacteria) are Gram-positive bacteria that grow in a variety of environments and have a filamentous shape similar to fungi. The actinomycetes distinguish themselves morphologically by forming a layer of hyphae that carry chains of spores. The aim of this study was to update the recent developments related to the actinomycetes. Streptomyces; as an actinomycete, is known for producing a number of bioactive secondary metabolites, including anti-tumour agents; antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, anti-hypertension drugs, and immunosuppressives. In order to compete with other microorganisms, including those of the same genera, Streptomyces species produce several secondary metabolites. However, despite the discovery of antibiotics, the infectious diseases remain the second- leading cause of death worldwide. Each year, around 17 million people die from bacterial infections; mainly children and the elderly. In addition to the overuse of antibiotics, a key factor contributing to antibiotic resistance is self-medication, which reduces the lifespan of antibiotics.