Antimycobacterial activity in vitro of pigments isolated from Antarctic bacteria

Academic Article


  • In this study, we describe the antimycobacterial activity of two pigments, violacein, a purple violet pigment from Janthinobacterium sp. Ant5-2 (J-PVP), and flexirubin, a yellow-orange pigment from Flavobacterium sp. Ant342 (F-YOP). These pigments were isolated from bacterial strains found in the land-locked freshwater lakes of Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of these pigments for avirulent and virulent mycobacteria were determined by the microplate Alamar Blue Assay (MABA) and Nitrate Reductase Assay (NRA). Results indicated that the MICs of J-PVP and F-YOP were 8.6 and 3.6 μg/ml for avirulent Mycobacterium smegmatis mc2155; 5 and 2.6 μg/ml for avirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis mc26230; and 34.4 and 10.8 μg/ml for virulent M. tuberculosis H37Rv, respectively. J-PVP exhibited a ~15 times lower MIC for Mycobacterium sp. than previously reported for violacein pigment from Chromobacterium violaceum, while the antimycobacterial effect of F-YOP remains undocumented. Our results indicate these pigments isolated from Antarctic bacteria might be valuable lead compounds for new antimycobacterial drugs used for chemotherapy of tuberculosis. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mojib N; Philpott R; Huang JP; Niederweis M; Bej AK
  • Start Page

  • 531
  • End Page

  • 540
  • Volume

  • 98
  • Issue

  • 4