Posts Tagged ‘germs’

“This article is about the different types of antibiotics and how they came into existence…

At sometime or another, almost everyone has used an antibiotic. You may have used and antibiotic cream for a bad cut. Your doctor may have ordered antibiotics to help you to get over a sinus infection, pneumonia, or some other type of infection.

Antibiotics are chemicals. When the chemicals are put into your body, they will stop the growth of certain kinds of germs. They will help your body to fight disease.

More than 3,000 years ago ancient people stumbled over the discovery that some molds could be used as a cure. The Egyptians, the Chinese, and Indians of central America would use molds to treat rashes and infected wounds. At that time they did not understand either diseases or treatments. They just thought that what was happening was magic. They believed that the molds were driving away evil spirits that were causing the disease.

As time went on, people began to gain some insight of disease. In the 1860’s Louis Pasteur showed that many diseases were caused by bacteria. Later he discovered that we may be able to fight germs with other microbes. It was two German doctors, who were the first to make an effective medication from microbes. Rudolf Emmerich and Oscar Low conducted their experiments in the 1890’s. They proved that the germs that would cause one disease, may be the cure for another.

What the men did was to take the germs from infected bandages and grow them in a test tube. They would then isolate a particular germ that caused green infections in open wounds. This germ was a bacteria called Bacillus pyocyaneus. They then put this into another test tube containing other types of bacteria. It was then that it happened, the Bacillus pycyoneus wiped out the other diseased germs. The germs that it killed were those that caused cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, and anthrax.

From this, the two men created a medication that they called pyocyanase. It was the first antibiotic to be used in hospitals. Unfortunately, it did not work the same on all patients. Some were cured, and still some only became sicker. As a result, this drug was abandoned.

In 1928, a research scientist by the name of Alexander Fleming, made the first real breakthrough in antibiotics. At the time, Fleming was on staff of a hospital in London. He was studying a germ called staphylococcus aureus. He was growing colonies of the germ in a petrii dish.

One day Fleming found a spot of green growing in one of the dishes. It was grown on the gel that was among the germs. He did not throw the dish out because he noticed something in the dish. There was a clear, germ-free ring of gelatin around the mold. This meant that the mold had killed the germ that was there. Fleming watch as the mold grew. The more the molds spread, the more of the germ that was liked off.

Fleming made this a full time project. As he studied the mold he noticed that tiny droplets of fluid began to form on the mold. He wondered if this was the chemical that was destroying the germs.

Fleming drew off the liquid. He found that this liquid could kill germs in a test tube. The name of the mold was Penicillium notratum, so, he decided to call the liquid penicillin. Later, other scientists discovered that penicillin could cure certain infections in mice and rabbits. In turn, it did not harm the animals in any way.

After penicillin came the invention of the sulfa drug. It comes from Prontosil, which is a substance used as a dye. When put into the body, Prontosil changes into and active germ-killing drug called sulfonilamide. It has been proven that this drug could cure pneumonia, scarlet fever, and blood poisoning.

In the 1930’s other laboratories started making other drugs in the same family. These were known as sulfa drugs and became a powerful weapon in fighting disease. The drugs had some serious drawback though. If not enough of the drug was given, the disease would get worse. Giving too much of the drug would upset the bodies defense system, once again preventing a cure.

Penicillin had proven that it worked against pneumonia, scarlet fever, and several other diseases. It had no effect on germs that caused typhoid, influenza, and many other diseases. As a result, scientist had to continue their search for other antibiotics.

An American, Doctor Selman Waksman, discovered a drug called streptomycin. It originated from microbes found in soil and was a cure for many intestinal diseases.

Now we had penicillin and steptomycin. Each was affective against certain diseases, but scientists wanted more. Doctors wanted a broad-spectrum drug. That is, a single anitbiotic that could cure many different diseases.

The search proved successful. One lab discovered Aureomycin, whic is a drug that does the job of both penicillin and stroptomycin. Another lab discovered Chloromycin. In 1949, yet another lab came up with one of the effective antibiotics ever found, Terramycin. This drug could be used against many bacterial diseases. Even with the discovery of these new antibiotics, the search went on.

Many might wonder why scientists try to find new or different antibiotics when we already know of so many. There are several reasons for this. One is that scientists are never happy or content with what they know. They always want to learn more. The second has to do with the antibiotics themselves. Third is the new uses for antibiotics.

For many years antibiotics seemed to be winning the war on disease. As time went on, doctors noticed that some germs were not being killed. Some types of bacterias were no longer being affected by antibiotics that used to kill them.

The field of antibiotics holds many unanswered questions. No one is sure how or why microbes produce the antibiotic chemicals, or if they will always produce these chemicals under all conditions. They believe that the laboratory diet may stimulate the microbes to make these chemicals, but no one knows for sure.

Many diseases are not caused by bacteria but by a virus. Among these are the flu and the common cold. Some types of cancer may also fall into this category. Many research scientists have tested anti-virus antibiotics. They were able to slow the growth of viruses in many cases. Many scientist hope that someday they will be able to develop antibiotics to control viruses as well as bacteria in humans.”


Now I personally do not support antibiotics but they do have their place in the world…