Purpose: The rapid emergence of drug resistance among pathogenic bacteria, especially multidrugresistant bacteria, underlines the need to look for new antibiotics.
Methods: In the present study, 134 different actinomycetes, isolated from the soil samples collected from different localities of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, were screened for antimicrobial activity against various test organisms including multidrug-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli in order to identify potential antibiotic producers.
Results: Among these isolates, 51 (38 %) showed antimicrobial activity against one or more test organisms and six exhibited promising broad-spectrum activity against all the tested organisms. The observed cultural, morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics confirmed that these isolates are species of the genus, Streptomyces.
Conclusion: Further studies on the bioactive metabolites from these cultures will be useful for discovering novel compounds of clinical and agricultural use.