The development of antibiotics, a key stage in the history of medicine

The antibiotic is a chemical substance produced by a living being that kills or prevents the growth of certain types of microorganisms, usually bacteria. They are used in medicine for humans and animals to treat infections caused by microbes.

Antibiotics usually help protect the individual while local reactions from your own body are not enough to control the infection.

Antibiotics throughout history

The term antibiotic was first used by Selman Waxman, the discoverer of streptomycin in 1942

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The earliest use of antibiotics occurred in China more than 2,500 years ago.

Streptomycin and sulfonamides have allowed science to make great strides in its centuries-long fight against infections.from: Mariusz Goldfinch – stock.adobe.com

Many other ancient cultures, including the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, used mold as well as certain plants to treat infections because they contained antibiotics, a fact they did not know about.

Research in the field of modern antibiotic therapy began in Germany with the development of Salvarsan, discovered by Paul Honestly in 1909, which allowed the effective treatment of syphilisa serious health problem at the time.

Years later, Alexander Fleming, a British doctor, grew bacteria on an agar plate that had been accidentally infected with a fungus. He then noticed that the growth medium around the matrix was free of bacteria. Surprised, he began to investigate why. And he was able to make a correct interpretation of what he saw, namely that the fungus secretes something that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Because the mushroom was of the genus Penicillin, called the product Penicillin. It was 1928.

Antibiotics have been widespread since 1943. For just over two decades, the number of antibacterial agents that swell in the arsenal of antibiotics has increased rapidly. Their names are well known, especially on streptomycin. This, together with the sulfonamides, has allowed science to make great strides in its age-old fight against infections.

Bacteria sometimes increase their resistance to antibiotics. From what biological reserves do they derive their defense mechanisms?

We hope that scientists will find answers to these questions. Only in this way will humanity continue to keep away the scourge of disease.

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And now a final aphorism in honor of those great scientists who have helped cure diseases for centuries.

“There are those who are born to create pain. But there are those who are born to soften it. “

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