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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Mar 1979; 15(3): 361–367.
PMCID: PMC352666

Avermectins, New Family of Potent Anthelmintic Agents: Producing Organism and Fermentation


The avermectins are a complex of chemically related agents which exhibit extraordinarily potent anthelmintic activity. They are produced by a novel species of actinomycete, NRRL 8165, which we have named Streptomyces avermitilis. The morphological and cultural characteristics which differentiate the producing organism from other species are described. The avermectins have been identified as a series of macrocyclic lactone derivatives which, in contrast to the macrolide or polyene antibiotics, lack significant antibacterial or antifungal activity. The avermectin complex is fully active against the gastrointestinal nematode Nematospiroides dubius when fed to infected mice for 6 days at 0.0002% of the diet. Fermentation development, including medium modification and strain selection, resulted in increasing the broth yields from 9 to 500 μg/ml.

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Selected References

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