Penicillin essay

Inthe contemporary United States of America, it is rare for one to diefrom an infection that is linked to either a cut or a scratch. Infact, it would be unbelievable for one to die from bacterialinfections. Death nowadays is a result of chronic lifestyle diseases,like blood pressure, hypertension, heart diseases, kidney relatedcomplications, and cancer. This is contrary to the situation of theearly 1900s. During this period, thousands of individuals lost theirlives annually as a result of bacterial infections since there was noknown antibiotic that had been discovered. However, in the 1940`spenicillin was discovered as a cure for bacterial infections. In thispaper am going to focus on penicillin, which is considered as “themiracle drug”.

Inone way or another, most individuals are living today becausepenicillin either saved their lives or the lives of theirforefathers. The capability of the drug to cure the fatal bacterialinfections left many overwhelmed hence, it was baptized the miracledrug.

Literally,the word antibiotic has been used to refer to chemicals that areeffective in low concentration. In most cases, such antibiotics arecreated as part of life development of certain creature, which canstop the development and spread of germs. The basic of this isattributed to Alexander Fleming, who when working as a physician anda researcher in London St Mary’s hospital put in print a paperabout penicillin, which he had extracted from a mold Penicilliumnotatum (Gray,2012).In the paper, he argued that the chemical had stopped the expansionof microorganisms which were in the same dish. Unfortunately, he wasunable to build on the idea. With the knowledge left behind on theability of penicillin to kill germs, Howard Florey, Ernst Chain, andNorman Heatley brought it into the scientific study at OxfordUniversity. They did extensive research on how the extracted samplescould be processed into a drug.

Theeruption of the Second World War was the main catalyst behind theprocessing of the drug. At the time, many countries were worriedabout the loss they would incur from the death of soldiers due tobacterial infections. The war necessitated the shifting of thecompany from Oxford to the United States of America, in 1941, becauseof the attacks in England (Jacobs, 2010). It was here thatlarge-scale production of penicillin was first experienced.Commercial production of the drug followed shortly in 1941, and wasled by laboratory worker Mary Hunt.

Bacteriaform new cell walls to enhance their multiplication it is throughcell divisions that a new daughter bacterium comes up. prevents the cell division process in certain bacteria hence,killing and preventing their multiplication.

However,some types of bacteria do resist antibiotics since not all bacteriaare the same. Resistance also arises in cases where one usesantibiotics to cure viral diseases antibiotics cannot kill viruses.Similarly, when a patient does not finish his antibiotic dosage, hegives room for more resistant bacteria to develop.


Theimpact of penicillin to our lives cannot be underestimated. It hasprovided a cure for deadly bacterial diseases, like gonorrhea,tetanus, and leprosy, which almost brought humankind to an end.However, it is necessary for individuals to be cautious andunderstand the usage limits of penicillin it should only be takenafter a doctor’s prescription.


Gray,D (2012). TheRelation of Fungi to Human Affairs.New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Jacobs,F (2010). Breakthrough:The True Story of .New York: Dodd, Mead &amp Company.