Fermentation for Antibacterial Agents

As a leading fermentation CDMO, BOC Sciences provides custom fermentation services to to help our customers accelerate the development and large-sale production of antibacterial agents. With our expertise in fermentation and strong fermentation capabilities, our services cover the development of a wide range of antimicrobial agents.

Introduction of Antibacterial Agents

Antibacterial agents generally refer to drugs with bactericidal or antibacterial activity, including a variety of sulfonamides, imidazoles, nitroimidazoles, quinolones and other chemically synthesized drugs, antibiotics with antibacterial effect obtained by fermentation of actinomycetota, cyanobacteria, fungi and other microorganisms, or similar substances manufactured by semi-synthetic method.

Fermentation Production of Antibacterial Agents

Antibiotics are the metabolites of microorganisms, and their production occurs naturally. Technologies such as strain improvement, fermentation process development and fermentation scale up make the large-scale production of antimicrobial agents possible. For most antibacterial agents of microbial origin, fermentation is used for their production because most natural products are very complex and contain many asymmetric centers that are too complex or expensive to produce commercially by chemical synthesis. For example, the glycopeptide teicoplanin is actually fully synthesized by a new chemical method, but it is too expensive and microbial fermentation remains the only way to produce this valuable drug.

  • The microorganisms used for fermentation are rarely identical to the wild type, and the host strains are genetically manipulated to produce the maximum amount of antibiotics. Genetic mutations, high-throughput screening (HTS) of strains, and gene amplification are commonly used to improve strains.
  • The microorganisms are grown in bioreactors containing liquid medium, where oxygen concentration, temperature, pH and nutrients are strictly controlled. Since antibiotics are secondary metabolites that are naturally produced in small amounts, strain growth must be manipulated artificially to ensure maximum yield before cell death.
  • After fermentation of antibacterial agents, extraction and purification operations are required. Downstream processes for fermentation production usually involve techniques such as ion exchange, adsorption, chemical precipitation, and membrane separation.

Fermentation for Antibacterial Agents

Classification of Fermented Antibacterial Agents

Antibacterial agents can be divided into several categories, including penicillins, cephalosporins, new β-lactams, aminoglycosides, glycopeptides, macrolides, and lincosamides, etc.


They are active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative cocci, Haemophilus spp. as well as various pathogenic spirochetes and most Actinomyces bovis. Commonly used are penicillin G, penicillin V, methicillin, ampicillin, hydroxyampicillin, etc.

New β-lactams

Such as carbapenem class of doripenem. Carbapenems are broad-spectrum, potent, and have low incidence of bacterial resistance.


They have the advantages of wide antibacterial spectrum, strong antibacterial action, resistance to penicillinase, low toxicity and few allergic reactions. Among them, cefoperazone and ceftazidime have good effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the half-life of ceftriaxone is longer.


They have good activity against Staphylococcus spp. and aerobic Gram-negative bacilli, and some have effect on Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Commonly used are gentamicin, tobramycin, netilmicin , amikacin.


They have unique tricyclic or tetracyclic heptapeptide cores and have good activity against Gram-positive bacteria and enterococcal. Commonly used are vancomycin, teicoplanin, and semi-synthetic telavancin, dalbavancin.


They mainly act on anaerobic bacteria, Legionella, Mycoplasma and chlamydia. The main ones are clarithromycin, erythromycin, azithromycin, spiramycin, etc.


They are more effective against anaerobic bacterial infections. The main ones are lincomycin and clindamycin.

Examples of Antibacterial Agents

ClassificationMicrobial sourceAntibacterial spectrumExampleProduction
LipopeptideActinomyceteG+DaptomycinFed-batch fermentation
GlycopeptideActinomyceteG+Telavancin, DalbavancinFed-batch fermentation
β-lactamFungusG+/G−Ceftaroline fosamilFed-batch fermentation
TiacumicinActinomyceteG+FixadomicinFed-batch fermentation

Why Choose BOC Sciences?

  • Strong fermentation capacity
    • 100,000+ liters of industrial fermentation capability
    • 100+ reactors of 20L-2,000L for reactions
    • 7 production lines at pilot scale
    • 4 R&D and scale-up labs
  • Advanced strain improvement
  • Experienced strain culture

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