You should check your information regarding the source of current
antibiotics. Most were discovered from actinomycetes, not fungi.
Early reports misidentified them as fungi due to their
filamentous growth but they are prokaryotes NOT eukaryotes. Many
antibiotics in use today are chemically modified derivatives of
the original structures, and often are produced by chemical
synthesis rather than fermentation. Furthermore, most 'new'
antibiotics are merely modifications of the basic structure to
expand spectrum of activity or combat resistance mechanisms.
As for truly new chemical entities, check out abstracts from the
ICAAC conference in New Orleans last Sep. The oxazolidinones
( from UpJohn) are a new class of antimicrobial agents.
Technically, they are NOT antibiotics since the definition is "an
antimicrobial substance produced by a microorganism" and these
are synthetic drugs. Similarly, the anitmmicrobial peptides from
frog skin (magainins) are antimicrobial agents, NOT antibiotics.
There are several hundred antimicrobial peptides discovered to
date from many forms of life. IntraBiotics is developing one
from pigs (protegrins) to treat infectious diseases.
Finally, there are many people pursuing the marine environment as
a source of new chemical entities from animals or microbes. I
suggest a more thorough review of the literature before you
proceed with your lecture on 'new antibiotics'.
Debbie Steinberg, IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, Sunnyvale, CA
Dr. Deborah A. Steinberg
Director Microbiology, IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals
email:73414.707 at compuserve.com