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  • 1. THE STORY OF PENICILLIN Spring 2014-2015
  • 2. Objectives What is penicillin? The Discovery of Penicillin The Re-discovery of Penicillin Fleming’s Discovery Howard Florey and Ernst Chain The Development of Penicillin The Production of Penicillin The mass Production of Penicillin The Importance of Penicillin
  • 3. What is penicillin? - Penicillin is an antibiotic. “Antibiotic” literally means “against life” – but antibiotics only kill life that is harmful to people, i.e. bacteria - A bacterial infection is caused by millions of tiny bacteria that are typing to survive and multiply in the body - An antibiotic attack kills these bacteria that enter the body - Before the development of penicillin, many people suffered and died from bacterial infections that are no longer considered dangers today 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN - THE MOST WIDELY USED ANTIBIOTIC
  • 4. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN - Penicillin is made from a mould called penicillium - This mould was first discovered in the early 19th century by John Sanderson who found that very little grew near it - In the 1880s, Joseph Lister noted these observations and wrote to his brother to say that he intended to try penicillin on infected wounds - Lister successfully treated a nurse with an infected wound with penicillin, but he did not leave any notes on the case and he also did not continue his research in this area The Discovery of Penicillin
  • 5. The Re-discovery of Penicillin 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN - It was in the laboratory of St. Mary’s Hospital in 1928 that Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist who graduated from the University of London, re-discovered the properties of penicillin
  • 6. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN Fleming’s Discovery - Fleming investigated and found that penicillin bacteria had got onto the dish, perhaps blow into the lab through an open window. The penicillin was killing the staphylococci -Fleming identified the mould and saw its potential – that penicillin could be applied to or injected into areas where there were penicillin- sensitive microbes - However, Fleming did not have the facilities or support to develop and test his idea that penicillin could fight infection. Fleming recorded his finding in a paper published in 1929
  • 7. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN Howard Florey and Ernst Chain - The second World War finally brought about the successful development of penicillin - In the 1930s two Oxford scientists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, developed an interest in Fleming’s 1929 paper on penicillin -In 1939 they assembled a team of pathologists, chemists and biochemists. Three days after the outbreak of war, Howard Florey asked the British government for money to found the team’s research -The British government refused to find the team’s research, as they were too busy making explosives Ernst ChainHoward Florey
  • 8. The Development of Penicillin 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN
  • 9. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN The Production of Penicillin - Although the first patient died, it was clear that penicillin was very powerful drug - Production remained slow, but as new batches were produced, two more patients were successfully treated - In August 1942, Fleming himself used penicillin to successful treat a friend of his who had meningitis - The second World War was producing thousands of casualties; penicillin needed to be mass produced if lives were to be saved
  • 10. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN The Mass Production of Penicillin
  • 11. 20TH CENTURY MEDICINE – THE STORY OF PENICILLIN The Importance of Penicillin - It is estimated that without the use of penicillin, another 12-15% of wounded allied soldiers would have died of infections - Penicillin also roughly halved the average time the allied wounded spent in hospital - It was a miracle drug when it was first developed. It could treat a wide range of infections and diseases including streptococcus, scarlet fever, syphilis and gonorrhoea - In 1945 Fleming, Florey and chain were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize For Medicine for their work on penicillin
  • 12. References first-antibiotic/