On September 28, 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming developed from a chance discovery, penicillin, the most widely used antibiotic in the world.
Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming.
Diseases that existed ninety years ago are now little more than conditions lasting a few days, can be fatal, as a complication of a simple sore throat, the infection of which spread to the lungs, has led to death.
Born on August 6, 1881 in the region of Ayrshire in the south-west of Scotland, Fleming moved to London at the age of thirteen, where he began his medical studies and, after graduating in 1906, began his research work with pioneers did. Vaccinated his advisor Almoth Wright at St. Mary’s Hospital in the British capital.
The young Fleming interrupted his career to serve in the Army Medical Corps during World War I, after which he returned to his post at St.
There, where he had a reputation for not being too careful with the hygiene of his material, he made a great discovery in the history of medicine.
In 1928, after returning from a two-week break, he noticed mold had grown in one of his cultures of staphylococci, but when the bacteria were everywhere on the plate, none grew around it.
This fungus, known as Penicillium notatum, allowed the scientist to develop penicillinA set of antibiotics from the beta-lactam group that are widely used in the treatment of infections.
use of penicillin It spread from 1942 when the American pharmaceutical industry began mass production and was important in the treatment of patients during World War II.
The drug greatly reduced the risk of fatal infections, allowing doctors to conduct more aggressive treatments that could save more lives.
In general terms, its discovery meant a drastic change for modern medicine, as it marked the beginning of the era of antibiotics, which, along with the discovery of other antibiotics such as streptomycin, used to treat tuberculosis. Allowed a great progress. field of medicine.
The Scottish scientist also discovered an antimicrobial enzyme called lysozyme which acts against infection.
However, his most important discovery did not give him all the prominence that might be expected, because when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945, he shared it with scientists Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Walter Florey. who were responsible for its development. penicillin like medicine.
Fleming wrote several articles on immunology and chemotherapy, and in 1948 became emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of London.
He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1943, and a year later was made a Knight of the Realm.