Define the term antibiotics
Antibiotics are a drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks
a) who was the first scientist to discover antibiotics
Alexander Fleming (1928)
b) Briefly describe the circumstances behind this discovery Fleming found that a mould - penicillin, on a discarded culture plate had an antibacterial action to the bacteria staphylococci – a source of serious and possibly fatal human infection.
c) What is Howard Florey famous for?
Howard Florey was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who further studied penicillin and later carried out trials on humans, playing an important role in the extraction of penicillin.
Name four different types of antibiotics
Briefly explain how penicillin works
Penicillin operates by dissolving the cell wall of bacteria, dispersing its cytoplasm and other cell systems. Molecules of penicillin act as a substrate attachment for the transpeptidase in the cell wall, and when activated prevent peptiodoglycan reactions that strengthen links in the cell wall – this leads inevitably to cytolysis and cell death.
Do they work against all pathogens? Explain
Antibiotics are a treatment of an infection caused by bacteria. They target only bacteria - they do not attack other organisms, such as fungi or viruses. This is because antibiotics attack the cell wall in destroying it and fungi’s and viruses do not have cell walls.
What are some of the side effects of using antibiotics?
The most common side-effects with antibiotics are diarrhoea and nausea, although side effects are not always obvious. Treatment with...
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