A powerful antifungal agent has been found in anthills
Researchers from the University of São Paulo have isolated the compound attinimycin, which is synthesized not by insects, but Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces bacteria. They are found in anthills of leaf-cutting ants in various geographic regions: these bacteria protect the insect crop from fungi. It is also known that various strains of Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces produce metabolites that protect ant food from other pathogens.
Scientists from Brazil have found that attinimycin is structurally related to oxacelin A and cahuitamycin A, – related metabolites produced by Streptomyces. All of these nonribosomal peptides are structural isomers with different primary sequences. The scientists also believe that attinimycin exhibits iron-dependent antifungal activity against certain parasites, which is comparable to the already used azole-containing antifungal drugs. This peptide has in vivo demonstrated a rather pronounced activity against Candida albicans. So attinimycin may become a promising drug that can actually be used for the treatment of resistant mycoses.
Source: GENENG NEWS