Essay Example on Penicillin was one of the first Antibiotics









Penicillin was one of the first antibiotics to be created It was discovered by bacteriologist Dr Alexander Fleming In September 1928 Dr Fleming noticed a spot on his petri dish that contained staphylococcus which is a bacterium that causes boils and a sore throats When he looked closely he saw that it was mold that was called Penicillium Dr Fleming found that not only was the bacteria in the petri dish being destroyed but also that the mold Penicillium was capable of killing a large number of harmful bacteria Fleming then partnered with is assistants in order to isolate and purify the penicillium into a crude form of penicillin He published his finding in June 1929 stating that penicillin was beneficial to humans It was not until ten years later in 1939 that Florey and Chain from the Oxford University began to experiment more with penicillin with the notion to purify it so that it could be used to aid in the war They had to stabilize the penicillin first and test it to make sure that it would be safe for humans to consume A test was first done with mice Florey and Chain infected 50 mice with a terminal illness half of the mice were given penicillin 

The results were that the half that were given the penicillin survived Once they noted that the test was a success they then began to experiment with human test subjects The first human to receive penicillin was Albert Alexander in 1941 He was severely ill when Florey and Chain came to him with the experimental penicillin When they dispensed the drug to Alexander he began to show tremendous improvements However they ran out of the antibiotic so he eventually died Now that they knew that the drug was effective in humans Florey and Chain needed to find a way to manufacture enough product to dispense to the masses military Florey and his coworker Norman Heatley got funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to travel to the United states so that they could collaborate with other scientists to increase the production of the penicillium penicillin During their time in the U S they found a stain of the fungus Penicillium chrysogenum that grew faster than the original penicillin that they first discovered After that they began to use corn steeped liquor as a culture medium and glyceryl monoricinoleate in order to stop the foam from overflowing By 1942 400 million tanks of pure penicillin was being distributed During World War 1 a lot of people were being killed from various diseases and infections from injuries and ill people 

There also wasn't a lot of sanitation in the hospitals Doctors also did not wash their hands causing germs and bacteria to transfer from person to person However Penicillin was the antidote for those infections because it killed bacteria and prevented it from spreading Since using Penicillin in world war 2 there was a drastic drop in fatality compared to World War 1 In World War I the death rate from bacterial pneumonia was 18 percent in World War II it fell to less than 1 percent Markel 1 The war production board worked with 21 companies and multiple academic groups and government organizations in order to spread the creation of penicillin in the U S Because of the significant benefits of Penicillin it opened a door for researchers to find other kinds of antibiotics streptomycin tetracycline erythromycin and vancomycin Decades later biotechnology used these fermentation techniques to grow copious amounts of fungi and bacteria genetically engineered to produce human insulin growth hormone and other complex biologics The penicillin collaborative unleashed the life sciences as a platform supporting corporate research and development both then and now Quinn 2 As people continued to use antibiotics because of the new found faith in them some people began to over use them not knowing the side effects Too much penicillin or any antibiotic is bad for the body Though antibiotics have saved millions of lives since penicillin was first prescribed almost 75 years ago it's now clear that unrestrained use of the drugs also has unexpected and dangerous consequences sickening at least 2 25 million Americans each year and killing 37 000 rise of superbug This is because penicillin destroys bacteria and the human body has multiple kinds of bacteria that are good for the body So when a person is over using penicillin it can really affect a person's health by destroying the good as well as the bad which can become very life threatening Another issue with using large amounts of antibiotics is that body can build a tolerance The bodies bacteria can become immune to the antibiotics which is the start of a superbug Superbug is bacteria that can t be controlled or destroyed with multiple drugs An example of a superbug is Tuberculosis this virus was almost immune to most antibiotics causing it to take countless lives in the process

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