Research Highlight

Antibiotic to fight TB identified in soil bacteria

doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.125 Published online 20 September 2016

Researchers at Kakatiya University's College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Warangal, Telangana, have reported a potential new weapon to fight tuberculosis (TB). 

They have isolated from soil a bacterial strain of Streptomyces luridus, which shows antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis as efficiently as rifampicin, a first line drug against TB1.

The scientists studied the active compound isolated from the extract of S. luridus for its anti-tubercular activity on a multi drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strain isolated from the sputum of a patient. The study showed that this compound was effective as an anti-tubercular agent at a concentration of 64 mg/mL and was comparable in efficacy to rifampicin.

The researchers found it to be non-mutagenic at the concentration of 1000 mg/mL as aslso non- cytotoxic. The antibiotic may be used in future to treat drug-resistant cases as an alternative to rifampicin, they say.


1. Anuradha, S. et al. Fermentation, isolation, purification and characterization of an anti-tubercular antibiotic from Streptomyces luridus MTCC 4402. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 54, 577-585 (2016) Article