What is aureomycin used to treat?

Posted on  April 3, 2021, Edited by Jason, Category  

What is aureomycin?

1. Definition

Aureomycin’s (chlortetracycline) chemical formula is C22H23ClN2O8. It is golden yellow crystalline powder produced by the fermentation of Streptomyces aureofacieus. The fermentation broth is acidified and filtered to obtain a precipitate, which is dissolved in ethanol. The crude product is obtained by acid precipitation, and the hydrochloride crystal is obtained by dissolution and salt formation.

Its effect and antibacterial spectrum are the same as those of tetracycline, but the adverse reactions are the greatest among tetracyclines (chlortetracycline>terramycin>tetracycline). Because its aqueous solution is unstable and is easily destroyed in neutral or alkaline solutions, tablets, powdered sugar, granules, and injections were eliminated in 1982, and aureomycin is now used as raw materials for external preparations, such as eye ointments.

Aureomycin, also known as chlortetracycline, is an antibacterial substance found in the culture medium of the actinomycete Streptomyces aureofaciens. Its hydrochloride is soluble in water, and the free base, especially calcium salt, is hardly soluble in water. The decomposition point of free bases is 168-169 °C. In 0.1 N hydrochloric acid, the maximum absorption is 230, 262.5, 367.5 nanometers. It can inhibit all kinds of bacteria, rickettsia, and chlamydiae. It has a very broad antibacterial spectrum and is used in treatment. Chlortetracycline is also an uncoupling agent.

The antibacterial spectrum of aureomycin is similar to tetracycline, and it is effective against Gram-positive cocci, especially Staphylococcus and pneumococcus. Because of its great side effects, it is currently only used for external used to treat conjunctivitis and trachoma.

2. Function

Chlortetracycline has inhibitory effects on both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and can treat typhoid fever and pullorum in livestock and poultry. At the same time, it can also be used as a growth promoter. For broiler feed under 10 weeks of age, the dosage is 20-50g/t, with a withdrawal period of 7 days; for pig feed under 2 months of age, the dosage is 25-75g/t, with a withdrawal period of 7 days.

3. History

Dr. Dager discovered that although penicillin and streptomycin are widely used in the treatment of bacterial infections, most diseases and bacteria are still resistant to them. Dr. Dager decided to study "soil" to find answers in this living system.

After the failure of 3,500 mold sets in his research, Dr. Dager finally discovered a golden substance with antibacterial properties at the University of Missouri in 1945. After 3 years of in-depth research and testing, Dr. Dager found that it can actively and effectively treat 90% of bacterial infections, and named it "Aureomycin". The Latin "Aureus" stands for gold and the Greek "Mykes" stands for fungus. The current common name is "Chlortetracycline".

In the experiment on the effect of poultry growth, chlortetracycline has obvious growth-promoting ability. In 1954, Dr. Zeibei discovered that low-dose chlortetracycline can promote the growth of poultry, pigs, and cattle, and under high-dose conditions, it can control chronic respiratory diseases in animals. In the 1990s, when the global animal health industry was rising, chlortetracycline began to be added to animal feed. The combination of chlortetracycline, sulfamethazine, and penicillin once became the main formula for a variety of swine diseases and became the most economically effective drug additive.

With the increase of population, the rapid development of the breeding industry, the rise of the global animal health industry, Chlortetracycline, which is of historical significance, protects the health of billions of animals.

Chlortetracycline is the first broad-spectrum antibiotic in human history. It has a wide range of antibacterial effects against most of the Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, Mycoplasma, Spirochetes, etc. At present, the global consumption of chlortetracycline is about 100,000 tons per year, and the annual consumption in the North America market is 36,000 tons. China is the world's second largest chlortetracycline market, with an annual consumption of about 30,000 tons.

4. Pharmacological effects

Aureomycin is a tetracycline antibiotic, and many rickettsia, mycoplasma, chlamydia, atypical mycobacteria, and spirochetes are sensitive to chlortetracycline. Enterococcus is resistant to it. Over the years, due to the wide application of tetracyclines, common clinical pathogens are highly resistant to chlortetracycline, gram-positive bacteria such as staphylococci and most enterobacteriaceae are resistant. There is cross-resistance between different varieties of chlortetracycline and tetracycline. The mechanism of action of chlortetracycline is that the drug can specifically bind to the A position of the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome to inhibit the growth of peptide chains and affect the synthesis of bacterial proteins.

Studies have shown that chlortetracycline can also inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, inhibit leukocyte chemotaxis, and reduce the activity of mammalian collagenase and other metalloproteinases.

5. Inspection Principle

Chlortetracycline is a high-efficiency broad-spectrum antibiotic that has a strong inhibitory effect on a variety of pathogens and is often used in the treatment of various animal infectious diseases. However, its residues in animal meat, milk, eggs and other foods seriously threaten human health, and can cause diseases such as aplastic anemia and granular leukopenia. Low-concentration drug residues can also induce drug resistance of pathogenic bacteria. Many countries such as the European Union and the United States have explicitly banned the use of CAP in the production of animal-derived foods and have established strict limit standards.

After joining the WTO, agricultural and veterinary drug residues have increasingly become technical barriers for developed countries to restrict the export of Chinese agricultural and sideline products. On January 30, 2002, the European Commission issued a resolution 2002/69/EC on the grounds that chlortetracycline was detected in shrimp imported from China, banning the import of China’s animal-derived foods, directly causing China’s aquatic products to export more than $600 million economic loss.

Aureomycin Uses


1. Indications

  • It is mainly used for topical treatment of superficial eye infections caused by sensitive bacteria.
  • For the treatment of trachoma caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • According to foreign reports, this medicine can also be used to treat recurrent aphthous ulcers.

2. Uses

Aureomycin is an over-the-counter drug in dermatology. It cannot be used by patients with allergies. It is a topical drug and is mainly used for mild small areas of scalds and burns. It can also treat skin diseases such as ulcers and impetigo. Uncommon adverse reactions such as skin rashes and redness and swelling are rare. Women who are breastfeeding or during pregnancy should use drugs with caution.

This class of drugs is a fast-acting bacteriostatic agent. After entering the bacterial body, it reversibly binds to the receptor on the 30S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, interferes with the binding of tRNA and the receptor on the mRNA-ribosome complex, prevents peptide chain extension and inhibits protein synthesis, thereby suppressing bacterial growth.

There are two ways for chlortetracycline to enter cells: one is passive diffusion through the hydrophilic groups of the outer cell membrane; the other is active transport by the inner cells.

Chlortetracycline ointment and chlortetracycline eye ointment  are roughly similar. They both treat protoplasma or mycoplasma infections, but have essential differences. For example, the composition and the usage is different, and the chlortetracycline ointment is an ointment. Chlortetracycline eye ointment is an eye ointment. Chlortetracycline eye ointment can be used on the whole skin, but chlortetracycline ointment cannot be used on the eyes.

A. Chlortetracycline hydrochloride ointment

Chlortetracycline ointment is used for purulent skin diseases such as impetigo, mild small burns and ulcer infections. Chlortetracycline ointment is suitable for superficial skin infections caused by sensitive gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and sensitive gram-negative bacteria.

B. Chlortetracycline eye ointment

Chlortetracycline eye ointment is used for the treatment of superficial eye infections caused by sensitive gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae and sensitive gram-negative bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae; it can also be used for the treatment of superficial eye infections and trachoma caused by chlamydia trachomatis.

3. Dosage

  • Adults: Chlortetracycline eye ointment, apply an appropriate amount to the eyelids each time, 3 times a day; Chlortetracycline ointment, apply an appropriate amount each time to the affected area, 1 to 3 times a day.
  • Children: Chlortetracycline eye ointment, apply an appropriate amount to the eyelids 3 times a day; chlortetracycline ointment, apply an appropriate amount each time to the affected area, 1 to 3 times a day.

Aureomycin for Veterinary Uses

Chlortetracycline has inhibitory effects on both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and can treat typhoid fever and pullorum in livestock and poultry. At the same time, it can also be used as a growth promoter for pig feed. For broiler feed under 10 weeks of age, the dosage is 20-50g/t, with a withdrawal period of 7 days; for pig feed under 2 months of age, the dosage is 25-75g/t, with a withdrawal period of 7 days.

1. Indications

  • Diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli or Salmonella, such as yellow scour and white scour of piglets, and white scour of chicks.
  • Swine pneumonia and avian cholera caused by Pasteurella multocida.
  • Control porcine proliferative enteritis (ileitis) caused by Lawsonia intracellularis.
  • Control Leptospirosis caused by Leptospira Pomona (reduce the incidence of miscarriage and Leptospira shedding).
  • Reduce the incidence of cervical lymphadenitis (jaw abscess) caused by group E streptococci.
  • Swine asthma and chicken chronic respiratory diseases caused by mycoplasma.

2. Aureomycin used as feed additive

  • Aureomycin for feed can promote the growth and development of livestock and poultry, increase the feed rate of return by more than 30%, and increase the brooding rate of chicks from 0-8 weeks of age by 6.23% and the weight gain by 11.94%, and can prevent chlortetracycline-sensitive bacteria. Adding to the feed of chicks can promote growth and development, shorten the breeding period, and increase the breeding rate.
  • It can inhibit chlortetracycline-sensitive bacteria. Adding a small dose can prevent diseases, and a big dose can cure diseases.
  • Low-dose addition can promote the intestinal absorption function, thereby improving the feed conversion rate.
  • Chlortetracycline is a highly safe antibiotic. It can be effective only when added at a low concentration, and it will not produce toxic side effects if the dosage is increased by 18 times.

Aureomycin Side Effects


1. Adverse Reactions

  • After oral administration, it can often cause gastrointestinal reactions, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • After medication, it can affect the growth of fetal bones and the development of milk teeth.
  • After medication, it can cause allergic reactions such as drug fever, urticaria, erythema multiforme, eczematous erythema and light-sensitive dermatitis.
  • There are also occasional reports that the medication can cause anaphylactic shock, asthma, and purpura.

2. Aureomycin interaction

Oral administration of drugs containing calcium, magnesium, and iron ions together with chlortetracycline will significantly reduce the absorption and serum concentration of chlortetracycline. The mode of action may be that chlortetracycline is chelated by metal ions to form a complex with lower solubility, which is not easy to penetrate the small intestinal mucosa.

3. Matters needing attention

  • Avoid use by pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and other mucous membranes (such as mouth, nose, etc.).
  • If there is a burning sensation, itching, redness and swelling at the medication site, the medication should be discontinued, and the local medication should be washed off, and consult a physician if necessary.
  • Long-term use is easy to produce drug resistance. It should not be used for more than 7 days. If there is no improvement, consult a physician.
  • People who are allergic to tetracycline are forbidden to use it.
  • Cross allergy: People who are allergic to one tetracycline drug may be allergic to other tetracycline drugs.
  • Use with caution: patients with pre-existing liver disease and renal impairment.


Aureomycin belongs to the tetracycline antibiotics, but the side effects of aureomycin are the greatest among the tetracyclines, so the current application of aureomycin is mainly for external use: such as chlortetracycline eye ointment.

BALLYA provides a ballya-tetracyclines-test to tell you if there are tetracyclines(including aureomycin) residues in honey, chicken and pork.


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