preview

The Discovery of Penicillin

Good Essays
Penicillin was first noticed in 1896, by Ernest Duchesne. Thirty-two years later Alexander Fleming noticed it as well, when he was working at St. Mary’s Hospital which is located in London. He observed that when bacteria had become contaminated by, Penicillium fungi, the bacteria nearest to the mold had started to die. In 1929, he named the substance Penicillin and he released his observations he had done through his investigations. He thought that maybe his investigations could be beneficial if they produced the mold in bulk amounts. Fleming gave up on the idea after 1931, but started to do more trials in 1934. In 1939, Dr. Howard Florey began in-depth research on penicillin. Since the war with Germany depleted their resources, they requested help from the United States. In 1943, they did trials with the penicillin and it proved to be the most effective antibacterial agent to date. Before penicillin, they didn’t have sufficient treatment for infections like pneumonia, Lyme disease, typhoid fever, gangrene, chlamydia, or leptospirosis. At the start of World War II, they didn’t have penicillin. Therefore if somebody falls and, bacteria from the dirt gets inside their wound, and infects it they will probably die because they can’t cure the infection. Before, there were some antibiotics that could help with diseases but couldn’t get rid of them completely. People had a shorter lifespan before the discovery of penicillin. For a while bacterial infections were the main cause of death in the human race. People died from syphilis, gonorrhea, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and even childbirth because they didn’t have a good enough antibiotic. You could also die from surgical infections, so you could’ve already been sick and very il... ... middle of paper ... ...d to help because they didn’t have enough resources to test out enough trials. The production of penicillin really took off and became very successful. Penicillin still has the same effect as it did twenty to thirty years ago. It works very effectively and helps people out every single day. I believe penicillin will eventually one day be in one of those situations where every infection is resistant to it because people abuse the antibiotic for other things that do not necessarily need antibiotics. Plus more and more superbugs and pan-resistant infections are being made and none of them will be able to use the penicillin or antibiotics. Overall penicillin is an incredible drug and has become very prosperous and will hopefully last a pretty long time, but if it doesn’t there are always new discoveries to come up with and make the medical world even better than before.
Get Access