Colistin: An Update on the Antibiotic of the 21st Century

Silpak Biswas; Jean-Michel Brunel; Jean-Christophe Dubus; Martine Reynaud-Gaubert; Jean-Marc Rolain


Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2012;10(8):917-934. 

In This Article

History & Discovery of Colistin

Polymyxin is an old class of cyclic polypeptide antibiotics that was discovered in 1947 from Paenibacillus polymyxa. it was formerly identified as Bacillus polymyxavar. colistinus. PMB and colistin (polymyxin E) are secondary metabolite nonribosomal peptides produced by the soil bacteria P. polymyxa.[16–18] Colistin has been available since 1959 for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria.[19] Colistin use was restricted when the potentially less-toxic aminoglycosides and other antipseudomonal agents became available. As a result, the use of colistin in the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens has declined from the early 1970s to the early 2000s.[4,10]