Recent Advances in the Application of Marine Natural Products as Antimicrobial Agents

Reconnoitering Cell Factories of Marine Algae for Antimicrobials

Author(s): Jibu Thomas* and S. Jerusha Pealin Grace

Pp: 131-146 (16)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815080148123030009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Antimicrobial compounds are groups consistent with the microorganisms that they could potentially act against bacteria or fungi. It is expected to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth and activity. As the case of antimicrobial resistance increases, nature has been generous in providing compounds with the potential to treat various ailments and infectious diseases. Bacteria, fungi and plants are known to own a good list of antibacterial molecules. Although research has been carried out to reveal the antimicrobial potential of natural products, the significance of vast terrestrial and marine Animalia has gained momentum. Though the naturally available antimicrobial agents obtained from plants, animals and microbial sources are considered safe in comparison with synthetic molecules, the outbreak of pathogens needs exploration over and above the reported ones. As the synthetic antimicrobials soon become immune to pathogens, it makes emphasis on antimicrobials from novel origins that have a long duration of effectiveness. The marine environment houses a wide and taxonomically diverse species of algae, mollusks, sponges, corals and tunicates. These organisms have adapted to survive the infectious environment by producing pharmacologically active compounds of phlorotannins, fatty acids, polysaccharides, peptides, and terpenes that help in battling bacterial annexation. As marine algae provide considerable opportunities in antimicrobials, the optimization in the methodologies leading to extraction and purification plays a greater role in capturing the antimicrobial activity of the bioactive molecules. Though an outsized number of potential antimicrobial compounds from marine algae have been identified and isolated, the majority of those compounds are yet to be categorized and commercialized. Recent research in algae focused on “omics” where metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics are done to understand better pathway leading to the synthesis of various functional molecules.

Keywords: Antimicrobials, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidants, Bacterial infections, Byproducts, Cell extracts, Environmental stress, Exploration, Food supplements, Functional molecules, Fungi, Gram-positive and -negative bacteria, Macroalgae, Marine seaweeds, Novel sources, Omics research, Optimization methodologies, Pharmacological activity, Phlorotannins, Secondary metabolites, Sterols.

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