The objective of the present study was to isolate antibiotic producing actinomycetes from marine samples of hard corals collected from the Bay of Bengal at Vellapatti, Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 22 morphologically different actinomycetes were recovered. About 40% of the isolates showed activity against Bacillus subtilis followed by Staphylococcus aureus (36.4%), Escherichia coli (18.2%) and Shigella flexinari (13.6%). Streptomyces and Micromonospora were the major genera identified. Three of the Streptomyces species showed antimicrobial activity against clinical isolates of multidrug resistant human pathogens. Two of these showed inhibitory activity against multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa while isolate CS19/13 exhibited strong activity against multi-drug resistant S. aureus (including methicillin). Forty percent of all isolates exhibited antagonistic activity against one or more bacterial pathogens. Hence, in the search for new antibiotics, for combating multidrug resistant pathogens, hard corals might be a potentially rich source of marine actinomycetes producing novel antibiotics.
Hard corals, actinomycetes, multi-drug resistant
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