Seaweed produces metabolites aiding in the protection against different environmental stresses. These compounds show antiviral, antiprotozoal, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Macroalgae can be cultured in high volumes and would represent an attractive source of potential compounds useful for unconventional drugs able to control new diseases or multiresistant strains of pathogenic microorganisms. The substances isolated from green, brown and red algae showing potent antimicrobial activity belong to polysaccharides, fatty acids, phlorotannins, pigments, lectins, alkaloids, terpenoids and halogenated compounds. This review presents the major compounds found in macroalga showing antimicrobial activities and their most promising applications.
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