Penicillin

Alexander FlemingAlexander Fleming

Penicillin

A potent substance that could kill bacteria was isolated from a naturally occurring mould (Penicillium notatum) by the Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming in 1928.

Penicillin, the life-saver of injured soldiersPenicillin, the life-saver of injured soldiers

Penicillin, a drug based on this natural substance, was created during a massive wartime project in 1943; it dramatically reduced infection and amputation among injured soldiers of the American and British armies throughout World War II. After 1945, pennicilin was widespread all over the world, bringing a brand new era to medicine.

Aspergillus under a microscopeAspergillus under a microscope

 

Dorothy Crowfoot HodgkinDorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Enabling its synthesis, the chemical structure of penicillin was determined by the British researcher, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in the forties. By 1957, several pharmaceutical companies synthesized and commercially produced this drug.

Penicillin molecule

The world of spores

Did you know?

A penicillin kezdetben olyannyira drága és ritka szer volt, hogy még a kezeltek vizeletéből is vissza kellett nyerni. Manapság a penicillin allergia a leggyakoribb gyógyszerallergia. Initially, natural Penicillin was so expensive and rare that it was recycled from the urine of the treated patients. Today, allergy to pennicilin is the most frequent form of drug allergies.