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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 835081, 8 pages
Research Article

Anti-Candida Properties of Urauchimycins from Actinobacteria Associated with Trachymyrmex Ants

1Center for the Study of Social Insects, São Paulo State University (UNESP), 13506-900 Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
2EMBRAPA Agroenergy, Parque Estação Biológica, 70770-901 Brasília, DF, Brazil
3Chemistry Departament, Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), 29075-910 Vitória, ES, Brazil
4Chemistry Department, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), 18052-780 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
5Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, São Paulo State University (UNESP), 13506-900 Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
6Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
7Division of Microbiology, Center for Chemistry, Biology and Agriculture Research (CPQBA/UNICAMP), 13081-970 Paulínia, SP, Brazil

Received 12 November 2012; Revised 29 January 2013; Accepted 2 February 2013

Academic Editor: Manish Bodas

Copyright © 2013 Thais D. Mendes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


After decades of intensive searching for antimicrobial compounds derived from actinobacteria, the frequency of isolation of new molecules has decreased. To cope with this concern, studies have focused on the exploitation of actinobacteria from unexplored environments and actinobacteria symbionts of plants and animals. In this study, twenty-four actinobacteria strains isolated from workers of Trachymyrmex ants were evaluated for antifungal activity towards a variety of Candida species. Results revealed that seven strains inhibited the tested Candida species. Streptomyces sp. TD025 presented potent and broad spectrum of inhibition of Candida and was selected for the isolation of bioactive molecules. From liquid shake culture of this bacterium, we isolated the rare antimycin urauchimycins A and B. For the first time, these molecules were evaluated for antifungal activity against medically important Candida species. Both antimycins showed antifungal activity, especially urauchimycin B. This compound inhibited the growth of all Candida species tested, with minimum inhibitory concentration values equivalent to the antifungal nystatin. Our results concur with the predictions that the attine ant-microbe symbiosis may be a source of bioactive metabolites for biotechnology and medical applications.