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Economic Importance of Fungi in Pharmacy

This economic importance of fungi in pharmacy article discusses the major economic importance of fungi in medicine. Role of fungi in pharmaceutical industry are as follows:

Penicillin

Streptomycin

Griseofulvin

sclerotia

Read on to learn more about role of fungi in pharmaceutical industry!!

Some fungi produce substances that help in the treatment of diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. Antibiotics are the name given to these substances.

As a result, the term antibiotic refers to an organic substance produced by a microorganism that inhibits the growth of other microorganisms. Molds, actinomycetes, and bacteria produce the most important antibiotics.

They are employed in the fight against the harmful effects of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics are used for more than just disease treatment.

Role of Fungi in Pharmaceutical Industry

1. Penicillin

The discovery of antibiotic agents as drugs is a relatively recent development. Sir Alexander Fleming established the role of fungi in producing antibiotic substances in 1929.

Penicillin, the great antibiotic drug, was extracted from Penicillium notatum by him. It was the first widely used antibiotic. Penicillin is a natural antibiotic that kills microbes. It outperforms conventional drugs and germicides in terms of efficacy. 

Economic Importance of Fungi in Medicine

Fleming’s ‘discovery’ of penicillin – Image Source: https://www.historyextra.com/

2. Streptomycin

Streptomycin is another antibiotic derived from the fungus Streptomyces griseus. It kills gram-negative organisms that penicillin does not kill.

3. Griseofulvin

Griseofulvin, an antifungal agent, is derived from the mycelium of Penicillium griseofulvum. This antibiotic only affects hyphae by interfering with wall formation; as a result, hyphal tips curl and stop growing. It is also used to treat fungal skin diseases such as ringworms and athlete’s foot.

4. Sclerotia

Claviceps purpurea produces sclerotia in the ovaries of grass flowers such as rye. The sclerotium is known as the ergot of rye. This Ergot is used in both human and veterinary medicine. It contains an alkaloid mixture that aids in rapid and powerful uterine contractions. It is extremely poisonous.

5. Other Antibiotics

Actinomycetes are also the source of many antibiotics, including Chloromycetin, Aureomycin, and Terramycin. Many pathogenic bacteria are inhibited by these antibiotics.

Aureomycin is an effective antibiotic for diseases in both animals and humans that do not respond well to other antibiotics.

Soluble antibiotics are also produced from the plasmodia of certain Myxogastres species. These antibiotics also aid in the observation of the growth of specific bacteria and yeasts in culture.

The anti-cancer substance calvacin is obtained from the giant puffball Clavatia. This fungus prevents stomach tumors.

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