Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease

Flavophospholipol use in animals: positive implications for antimicrobial resistance based on its microbiologic properties.

PMID 16698216


Bambermycin (flavophospholipol) is a phosphoglycolipid antimicrobial produced by various strains of Streptomyces. It is active primarily against Gram-positive bacteria because of inhibition of transglycosylase and thus of cell wall synthesis. Bambermycin is used as a feed additive growth promoter in cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys, but has no therapeutic use in humans or animals. Flavophospholipol is known to suppress certain microorganisms (e.g., Staphylococcus spp. and Enterococcus faecalis) and thus contributes to an improved equilibrium of the gut microflora providing a barrier to colonization with pathogenic bacteria and resultant improved weight gain and feed conversion. Flavophospholipol has also been shown to decrease the frequency of transferable drug resistance among Gram-negative enteropathogens and to reduce the shedding of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella in pigs, calves, and chickens. Plasmid-mediated resistance to bambermycin has not been described. Likewise, cross-resistance among bacteria between bambermycin and penicillin, tetracycline, streptomycin, erythromycin, or oleandromycin has not been observed. This brief review summarizes the antimicrobial properties of bambermycin, in particular, its potentially favorable role in decreasing antimicrobial resistance.

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