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Antibiotics 2018, 7(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics7040090

Advances in Antarctic Research for Antimicrobial Discovery: A Comprehensive Narrative Review of Bacteria from Antarctic Environments as Potential Sources of Novel Antibiotic Compounds Against Human Pathogens and Microorganisms of Industrial Importance

1
Laboratorio de Biología Molecular Aplicada, Centro de Excelencia en Medicina Traslacional, Universidad de La Frontera, Avenida Alemania 0458, 4810296 Temuco, Chile
2
Núcleo Científico y Tecnológico en Biorecursos (BIOREN), Universidad de La Frontera, Avenida Francisco Salazar 01145, 481123 Temuco, Chile
3
Centro de Investigación en Biotecnología, Escuela de Biología, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, 30101 Cartago, Costa Rica
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract

The recent emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a critical public health problem. It is also a concern for industries, since multidrug-resistant microorganisms affect the production of many agricultural and food products of economic importance. Therefore, discovering new antibiotics is crucial for controlling pathogens in both clinical and industrial spheres. Most antibiotics have resulted from bioprospecting in natural environments. Today, however, the chances of making novel discoveries of bioactive molecules from various well-known sources have dramatically diminished. Consequently, unexplored and unique environments have become more likely avenues for discovering novel antimicrobial metabolites from bacteria. Due to their extreme polar environment, Antarctic bacteria in particular have been reported as a potential source for new antimicrobial compounds. We conducted a narrative review of the literature about findings relating to the production of antimicrobial compounds by Antarctic bacteria, showing how bacterial adaptation to extreme Antarctic conditions confers the ability to produce these compounds. We highlighted the diversity of antibiotic-producing Antarctic microorganisms, including the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, which has led to the identification of new antibiotic molecules and supports the belief that research on Antarctic bacterial strains has important potential for biotechnology applications, while providing a better understanding of polar ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Antarctic ecosystem; novel antibiotics; Antarctic bacteria; multidrug-resistant pathogens; extreme environment; bacterial cold-adaptation Antarctic ecosystem; novel antibiotics; Antarctic bacteria; multidrug-resistant pathogens; extreme environment; bacterial cold-adaptation
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Núñez-Montero, K.; Barrientos, L. Advances in Antarctic Research for Antimicrobial Discovery: A Comprehensive Narrative Review of Bacteria from Antarctic Environments as Potential Sources of Novel Antibiotic Compounds Against Human Pathogens and Microorganisms of Industrial Importance. Antibiotics 2018, 7, 90.

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