The History of the Discovery of Antibiotics

Antibiotics, without exaggeration, can be called one of the hugest medical “miracles”. The doctrine of antibiotics is a young synthetic branch of modern science. The most important factor in understanding the phenomenon of antibiotics is to determine the horizon of their action. The mechanism of action (operation principle) of antibiotics mainly consists in their ability to inhibit the growth and destroy bacteria cells, fungi and tumors. They all have various priorities.

Alexander Fleming Many scientists have dreamed of making such preparations.

Emmerich and Low in 1899 reported an antiseptic substance formed by Pseudomonas; the drug was used as a healing factor as a local antiseptic.

In a result of numerous experiments Paul Ehrlich synthesized in 1912 arsenic drug – Salvarsan, killing in vitro causative agent of syphilis.

In 1910-1913 by O. Black and U. Alsberg the penicillium acid was isolated from the fungus Penicillium, which has antimicrobial properties.

There were also many other scientists who were close to indicate and create an antibiotic, but the first actual discovery of the antibiotics had been made in the year 1929.

penicillium cultur Centuries ago it was noticed that green mold helps in the curing of serious festering wounds. But in those days we knew nothing about germs or about antibiotics. The first scientific description of the therapeutic effect of green mold was made in the 70s of the 19th century by V.A. Manassein and A.G. Polotebnov. After that, for a few decades the green mold forgotten and only in 1929 it became a sensation in the scientific world. The phenomenal qualities of this unpleasant living organism were studied by the Professor of Microbiology, University of London, Alexander Fleming.

Fleming's experiments showed that green mold produces a special substance, which has antibacterial properties and the overwhelming growth of many pathogens. This substance was by the scientist – Penicillin. In further studies Fleming discovered Penicillin’s detrimental effect on germs, but at the same time has no adverse effect on the white blood cells, which are actively involved in fighting the infection, and other cells of the body. But Fleming was unable to allocate a pure culture for the production of penicillin drugs.

In 1940 for the first time Penicillin was obtained in the crystalline form that opens the era of antibiotics.