The Discovery And Development Of Antibiotics

1574 WordsDec 22, 20157 Pages
The 20th century brought along a period of success in human therapeutics with the discovery and development of antibiotics. An antibiotic is a specific type of antimicrobial that is produced by microorganisms to fight off other microorganisms. The first commercialized antibiotic was Penicillin in 1945. The discovery of the drug was led by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and it became widely used in World War II to help heal surgical and wound infections (Carlet et al.). When Fleming was presented with the Nobel Prize for his discovery, he made sure to warn the human race of Penicillin-resistant bacteria (“About”). He stated, "the thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of a man who succumbs to infection with a penicillin-resistant organism…I hope this evil can be averted.” A future free of infectious disease was becoming a reality all thanks to the new “miracle drug”. However, individuals did not realize that the “miracle drug” could one day stop working. The introduction of antibiotics during the last century has significantly decreased the number of deaths from infectious diseases, saving tens of millions of lives from all around the world. Unfortunately, however, antibiotics have been exceptionally overused since their discovery. The foreseen consequence of resistance was completely ignored. It was once assumed that antibiotics were an unlimited resource, but it is now clear that that they can be renewed only with great
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