Antibiotics and microbes
Antibiotics produced by microbes are regarded as one of the most significant discoveries of the twentieth century and have greatly contributed towards the welfare of the human society.
“Anti is a Greek word that means ‘against’ , and bio means ‘life’, together they mean ‘against life'( in the context of disease causing organisms).”
Antibiotics are chemical substances, which are produced by some microbes and van kill or retard the growth of other disease casing microbes.
“Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be discovered by Alexander Fleming while working on Staphylococcus bacteria”
He observed a mould growing in one of his unwashed culture plates around which Staphylococcus could not grow. He found out that it was due to chemical produced by the mould and he named it Penicillin after the mould Penicillium notatum.
However, it’s full potential as an effective antibiotic was established much later by Ernest Chain and Howard Florey. This antibiotic was extensively used to treat American soldiers wounded in World War II.
Antibiotics have greatly improved our capacity to treat deadly diseases such as plague, whooping cough( Kali khansi) , diptheria(gal ghotu) and leprosy (kusht rog), which used to kill millions all over the globe.
“Vaccines and antibiotics have made many infectious diseases a thing of the past; we’ve come to expect that public health and modern science can conquer all microbes. But nature is a formidable adversary.”
“When antibiotics became industrially produced following World War II, our quality of life and our longevity improved enormously. No one thought bacteria were going to become resistant.”