Discovery of Penicillin
September 3, 1928
Alexander Fleming, a world known Scottish scientist, was on a holiday and had returned from holiday to St. Mary’s Hospital. When Alexander Fleming went into his Laboratory full of WW1 diseases that he had been studying, some examples were the influenza virus and more when he noticed that a white mould was growing in the Petri dishes of diseases, and he soon realised it was fighting and killing the bacteria inside the Petri dishes. This discovery went on to be Penicillin. He did some intense research and found that it was capable of killing a wide range of harmful bacteria. He soon published his findings in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology in June 1929. At this stage people began to notice and many scientists were now on the run to refine Penicillin so it could be safe for public use.
Research on Penicillin in Oxford & USA and the Usage of Penicillin in WW2
It was the help of 2 Scientists and their colleagues that turned Penicillin from a laboratory curiosity to a life-saving drug. Purifying Penicillin started from 1939 and took a long time. A team of “Penicillin Girls” were hired for £2 a week to help purify penicillin. In effect, the Oxford laboratory was turned into a penicillin factory.
In 1940, a researcher called Florey did more research and how it annihilated the deadly diseases from Penicillin. Then, on February 12, 1941, was the first human to use Penicillin to save his life. He scratched the side of his mouth whilst pruning roses and developed a life threatening disease. They injected penicillin and saved him, but a few days later, they ran out of Penicillin and shortly after, the person died. Then war time came and pharmacists took up the challenge to make production of Penicillin available to the soldiers in war.
With the amount of soldiers in war time, Florey and his team of Researchers went to America in 1941 and brought a small package of Penicillin and this day was the day when mass production of the drug started to kick in. By November 26, 1941, Andrew J. Moyer, Peoria Lab’s expert on the nutrition of moulds, had succeeded, with the help of Dr. Heatley, in a tenfold increase in the yield of Penicillin. After clinical trials in 1943, Penicillin was named the most effective antibacterial agent to date.
After 1943, production increased on Penicillin and by the time allied forces hit the beaches on D-Day, there was an ample supply of the drug to test the numerous casualties. Because of the mass production of Penicillin increased, prices dropped from $20 per dose in July 1943 to a mere $0.55 per dose by 1946.
Pros and Cons on Penicillin
Penicillin is a great way to treat the infected now, to help the sick and to cure the infected, but there are some sides to it. Penicillin is a drug, so are all the antibiotics in the world. If too much antibiotics were in a body trying to kill bacteria, the bacteria could become drug resistant and which means that antibiotics are no use and makes the bacteria stronger and resistant against anything. So in conclusion, Penicillin is a great way to treat the infected, but you have to give the right amount otherwise it will become chaos for the body.