Mupirocin is an antibiotic isolated from the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens that targets Gram-positive bacteria. It is dispensed in both topical cream and intranasal forms. Mupirocin is prescribed for the treatment of bacterial infections of the skin and infections of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. It is especially effective in treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, which are difficult to treat because of strain resistance to many common antibiotics. However, resistance to mupirocin is rare due to its unique mechanism of action.
Mupirocin became FDA approved for select bacterial infections under the trade name Bactroban in topical form in 1987 and nasal form in 1995. It is currently manufactured through large-scale fermentation of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Fermentation is a well-established industrial method using microorganisms to convert raw materials to valuable commercial product through chemical transformations.