Let’s discover Penicillin

In the early 20th century, the micro-organisms that cause the most important infectious diseases in man had already been discovered. Up to that time, the control of the spread of such diseases relied on prevention, in the form of vaccines (against smallpox, rabies and anthrax) and disinfectants. Chemicals, such as antibiotics, that could kill the micro-organisms without damaging the infected individual, began to be discovered and used.
In 1926, Alexander Fleming found a mildew (Penicillium notatum) in a culture of Staphylococci. He noticed that the area of the culture medium near the fungal colony was completely free of staphylococci. Through some tests, he found out that mildew was an excellent bacterial inhibitor and at the same time it was not toxic on the test animals. Penicillin was then purified before it could be used on man. This substance is still one of the best and widespread antibiotics for the treatment of many infectious diseases of bacterial origin.

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