Antibiotics were an important tool used in war to cure any type of infection in the body. In this sense, for each case there are particular specifications that act according to the type of problem. Antibiotic
In most major cities in the world there is always a street dedicated to Alexander Fleming: a Scottish scientist who discovered penicillin, one of the first antibiotics. The tribute to Fleming is deserved, because thanks to him thousands of human lives could be saved .
A long way to reach antibiotics
Antibiosis was already known in the late nineteenth century. It is the antonym of symbiosis and means collaboration between living beings. Therefore, two types of antibiotics cannot coexist in the same medium, as the growth of one inhibits the development of the other. This process took place between a fungus called Penicillium notatum and a staphylococcus (a bacterium). This phenomenon was first observed in a laboratory at Saint Mary’s Hospital, London, in 1928, by the doctor who worked at that hospital: Alexander Fleming. Antibiotic
The curious thing about the discovery is that it happened in a totally casual way through some useless vaccines that were covered in mold by the contact with the air, thus, Fleming realized this fact due to the curious aspect presented by the microbial culture. Fleming took a sample under the microscope and observed that the Penicillium fungus was destroying the staphylococcus. This fact showed that the diseases caused by this bacteria could be eliminated.
Fleming’s discovery started the formation of a small group of researchers
When they presented their work on penicillin, the news did not arouse much interest in the scientific community. While this was happening, the German scientist Domagk had discovered the effect of sulfamides (a non-antibiotic chemical ), but that it cured certain infections. Initially, this fact made Fleming think that it would not make much sense to continue investigating penicillin, as another substance already fulfilled the same function . Antibiotic
In this way, the Scottish scientist decided to abandon his research. However, his work on penicillin was known by two young scientists: the Australian Florey and the German of Jewish origin, Chain.
When World War II broke out, the problem of infections increased and that’s why Florey and Chain published an article about the effects of penicillin. The article reached Fleming who quickly contacted Florey and Chain to continue the research.
Before long, the three scientists made the pharmaceutical industry was interested in new drug, since it was a drug with a high cost of production . In this way, in the last months of the war, the Allies were able to have enough penicillin for the wounded fighters. In 1945, Florey, Chain and Fleming were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Antibiotic