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ENG110Y5 Study Guide - Antimicrobial Resistance, Gonorrhea, Microbiology

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Lisa Trentin

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Antibiotics also known as anti -bacterial are substances or agents that either inhibits or destroys bacterial growth
The term antibiotics was first used in 1942 by Selman Waksman and his partners in journal articles to describe
any substance that was antagonistic to the growth of other organisms in high dilution.[2] Antibiotics
was classified into bactericidal antibiotics that kill the bacteria directly and bacteriostatic antibiotics which
prevent or inhibits them from growing .[3]
In the late 19th century, the better understanding of disease increased the curiosity of the researchers which led
them to seek treatments to kill or inhibit the growth of microbes( such as bacteria). This proved difficult until the
accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. A culture plate of Staphylococcus bacteria from
an experiment that was left on his bench during a two-week leave and had now been contaminated with
Penicillium notatum mold. When Fleming returned, he found the plate and observed that around the yellow-green
mold growth was a different remove disc. Since the Staphylococcus bacteria were able to grow across the plate
except near the contaminated area with mold, Fleming hypothesized that Penicillium was somehow capable of
stopping bacterial growth.
Although it took about 11 years for an Oxford University research team, which was under the supervision of
guidance two biochemists Ernest Chain and Howard Florey, to isolate and purify penicillin. In a 1940 Lancet paper,
they reported that the mice injected with a lethal dose of Streptococcus could be cured with penicillin. Initial
testing on patients began immediately, and in a 1943 Lancet article Florey described the significant success of
using penicillin to treat wounded soldiers in North Africa. European production of penicillin was been limited by
fighting during World War II, but by D-Day, June 6, 1944, US pharmaceutical companies were able to produce
enough penicillin to treat all wounded British and American troops. Penicillin quickly became a primary treatment
for pneumonia, diphtheria, genital infections such syphilis and gonorrhea, scarlet fever, and other infections. For ",
the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases” Fleming, Chain, and Florey
received the Noble Prize for Medicine in 1945. [4]
Antibiotics had been looked upon as wonder drugs for a cause. Before the discovery of antibiotics, thousands of
years ago, physicians used different types of plants, fungi and lichen to cure various kinds of infections and
diseases without any knowledge of how they worked in the body. During that period, the practice of medicine was
more of an experimental practice. Soup and patient isolation were the essential factors when trying to treat an
infection. As soon as antibiotics was discovered, doctors relied more on them heavily. Antibiotics are one of the
most prescribed drugs or medications in this modern age. They had been used to cure skin infections, burn
wounds, infections such as neurosyphilis, respiratory and urinary tract infections, blood poisoning and other
diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and protozoa. The discovery of antibiotics has made medicine, industry and
farming evolve.
Antibiotics have a broad use not only in medicine, but in agriculture. They were used in livestock production they
were used as growth promoters they can be used in managing and curing clinical diseases in livestock (as a
therapeutic) and as a prophylactic to prevent diseases in animals .[5]
Antibiotics work to kill bacteria. As we know, bacteria are single-cell organisms, and when bacteria makes passes
through the immune systems and start reproducing inside the body, they cause disease. Certain bacteria produce
chemicals that damage or disable parts of the human body which is dangerous i.e. in an ear infection, bacteria have
gotten into the inner ear. The body is works to fight the bacteria, but the immune system's natural processes
produce inflammation and this inflammation in the ear cause pain. In order to kill this bacteria cells, and antibiotic
has to be administered to destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and gets rid of the inflammation.
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