Production of trichothecin in submerged aerated cultures of a strain of is described. The antibiotic is active against certain fungi pathogenic in man, including the causative organisms of some generalized infections and several of the common skin pathogens. In general, the sensitive pathogens were inhibited at trichothecin concentrations of 16 p.p.m. or less and the antifungal activity was not influenced by the presence of blood serum (5%) in the medium. Trichothecin is toxic to laboratory animals; single doses at the rate of 250 mg./kg. intravenously in mice and subcutaneously in rats resulted in death. The antibiotic also produced a reaction when brought into contact with the skin.

The antifungal activity of a series of esters related to trichothecin was of the same order as that of the parent substance. With the exception of esters in which the ethylenic double bond of trichothecolone had been saturated, none of the known derivatives or fission products exhibits more than a very slight activity. The presence of a large excess of β-indolylacetic acid did not affect the antifungal activity of trichothecin. This suggests that the effect of the latter in inhibiting plant growth regulating activity of β-indolylacetic acid and related substances is not due to molecular combination of the two substances.


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