Who Discovered Penicillin?

Penicillin is a an antibiotic agent that could help in destroying a wide range of bacteria types. The Penicillin is extracted from the penicillium fungi.

More than a thousand years ago the first people that used the fungi as a treatment were the Bedouins in North Africa whom treated their donkeys by a batch containing the mold. Also the Arab stable boys treated the saddle inflammations by using mold that produces on the wet saddles.

Joseph Lister , (1827-1912) an English surgeon noticed in 1871 that urine samples that were infected by mold did not contain any kind of bacteria. At about the same period in 1874 William Roberts (1830-1899) an English physician noticed that there are no bacteria in the presence of mold. And in the year 1877 Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) the famous French chemist and microbiologist and Jules Francois Joubert  observed that in the presence of bacteria and mold together, the effect of bacteria is repressed.

Ernest Duchesne (1874-1912) a French medical student, observed in the year 1896 that the bacteria of  typhoid was abstracted when exposed to fungus, he used it to cure typhoid in guinea pigs.

In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)  an English bacteriologist, while he was searching for a cure from Staphylococci bacteria, a dish containing Staphylococci bacteria accidentally was exposed to mold, Fleming noticed that the bacteria around the fungus vanished. So he proved that the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus could be destroyed by the mold Penicillium notatum.

Dorothy Mary Hodgkin (1910-1994) a British Chemist, she made a big contribution by discovering the structure of penicillin among other molecules. Which helped other scientists to develop antibiotics.

The necessary clinical trials were done  by Howard Florey and Norman Heatley  in the year 1941, whom traveled from England to USA  and by the year 1943 it was proved that penicillin is active with the bacteria.

By that time Andrew J. Moyer with Dr. Heatley, were able to increase the penicillin yield, that allowed the manufacturer of penicillin. Then Andrew J Moyer has the credit of inventing the method of producing the penicillin in mass production.


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