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Systematic (IUPAC) name
3,5,6-trihydroxy-cyclohexoxy)- 4-[4,5-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)
-3-methylamino-tetrahydropyran-2-yl] oxy-3-hydroxy-2-methyl
Clinical data
Routes of
Intramuscular, intravenous
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 84% to 88% (est.)[2]
Biological half-life 5 to 6 hours
Excretion Renal
CAS Number 57-92-1
ATC code A07AA04 (WHO) J01GA01
PubChem CID 5999
DrugBank DB01082
ChemSpider 18508
Chemical data
Formula C21H39N7O12
Molar mass 581.574 g/mol[[Script error: No such module "String".]]
Physical data
Melting point 12 °C (54 °F)
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Streptomycin is an antibiotic drug, the first of a class of drugs called aminoglycosides to be discovered, and was the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis. It is derived from the actinobacterium Streptomyces griseus. Streptomycin is a bactericidal antibiotic[3]. Streptomycin cannot be given orally, but must be administered by regular intramuscular injections. An adverse effect of this medicine is ototoxicity, which can lead to hearing loss[citation needed].

Mechanism of action

Streptomycin is a protein synthesis inhibitor. It binds to the S12 Protein of the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, interfering with the binding of formyl-methionyl-tRNA to the 30S subunit[4]. This prevents initiation of protein synthesis and leads to death of microbial cells. Humans have structurally different ribosomes from bacteria, thereby allowing the selectivity of this antibiotic for bacteria. However at low concentrations Streptomycin only inhibits growth of the bacteria by inducing prokaryotic ribosomes to misread mRNA[5]. Streptomycin is an antibiotic that inhibits both gram positive and gram negative bacteria[citation needed], and is a therefore a useful broad spectrum antibiotic.


Streptomycin was first isolated on October 19, 1943 by Albert Schatz, a graduate student, in the laboratory of Selman Abraham Waksman at Rutgers University[6]. Waksman and his laboratory discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, streptomycin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin and candidin. Of these, streptomycin and neomycin found extensive application in the treatment of numerous infectious diseases. Streptomycin was the first antibiotic that could be used to cure the disease tuberculosis; early production of the drug was dominated by Merck & Co. under George W. Merck.

The first randomized trial of streptomycin against pulmonary tuberculosis was carried out in 1947 by the MRC Tuberculosis Research Unit. Whilst neither double-blind nor placebo-controlled, results showed efficacy against TB, albeit with minor toxicity and acquired bacterial resistance to the drug.[7]


Treatment of diseases

While streptomycin is traditionally given intramuscularly (indeed, in many countries it is only licensed to be used intramuscularly), the drug may also be administered intravenously.[2]


Streptomycin is also used as a pesticide, to combat the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae. Streptomycin controls bacterial and fungal diseases of certain fruit, vegetables, seed, and ornamental crops, and controls algae in ornamental ponds and aquaria. A major use is in the control of fireblight on apple and pear trees. As in medical applications, extensive use can be associated with the development of resistant strains.

Cell Culture

Streptomycin, in combination with penicillin, is used in a standard antibiotic cocktail to prevent bacterial infection in cell culture.

See also


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Further reading


bs:Streptomicin ca:Estreptomicina cs:Streptomycin da:Streptomycin de:Streptomycin es:Estreptomicina eu:Estreptomizina fa:استرپتومایسین fr:Streptomycine hr:Streptomicin it:Streptomicina he:סטרפטומיצין hu:Sztreptomicin ms:Streptomisin nl:Streptomycine ja:ストレプトマイシン no:Streptomycin pl:Streptomycyna pt:Estreptomicina ro:Streptomicină ru:Стрептомицин sk:Streptomycín sl:Streptomicin sr:Стрептомицин sh:Streptomicin sv:Streptomycin th:สเตรปโตมัยซิน tr:Streptomisin uk:Стрептоміцин

  1. "Taking Streptomycin during pregnancy and breastfeeding". Drug Safety Site. 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zhu M, Burman WJ, Jaresko GS, Berning SE, Jelliffe RW, Peloquin CA. (September 2001). "Population pharmacokinetics of intravenous and intramuscular streptomycin in patients with tuberculosis". Pharmacotherapy. 21 (9): 1037–1045. doi:10.1592/phco.21.13.1037.34625. PMID 11560193. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  3. Singh B, Mitchison DA (16 January 1954). "Bactericidal activity of streptomycin and isoniazid against tubercle bacilli". British Medical Journal. 1 (4854): 130–132. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.4854.130. PMC 2084433Freely accessible. PMID 13106497. 
  4. Sharma D, Cukras AR, Rogers EJ, Southworth DR, Green R (7 December 2007). "Mutational analysis of S12 protein and implications for the accuracy of decoding by the ribosome". Journal of Molecular Biology. 374 (4): 1065–1076. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2007.10.003. PMC 2200631Freely accessible. PMID 17967466. 
  5. Voet, Donald & Voet, Judith G. (2004). Biochemistry (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. p. 1341. ISBN 0-471-19250-X Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  6. Comroe JH Jr (1978). "Pay dirt: the story of streptomycin. Part I: from Waksman to Waksman". American Review of Respiratory Disease. 117 (4): 773–781. PMID 417651. 
  7. D'Arcy Hart P (28 August 1999). "A change in scientific approach: from alternation to randomised allocation in clinical trials in the 1940s". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.). 319 (7209): 572–573. PMC 1116443Freely accessible. PMID 10463905.