Howard Florey

Topics: Bacteria, Antibiotic, Penicillin Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: February 25, 2013
In 1940 penicillin was finally produced and by this time World War II has started. Wounded soldiers were in need for penicillin, as records show penicillin has been used on D-Day to cure soldiers from gangrene. Medical companies started sending out a 100 billion units of penicillin per month by 1944. After this drug's miraculous effects on these soldiers, more and more of this drug was demanded from the medical companies in the United States. Researchers believe that penicillin was one of the indirect causes of the victory of the allies during the war. Today some of us don't realize the importance of penicillin and that it prevents many children from getting diseases such as infections of the bone, stomach, or throat. Back then children died regularly from what is today considered minor diseases and infections. Indeed penicillin is a miracle drug. During World War I, death rate from pneumonia in the American Army totalled 18%. In World War II, it fell to less than 1%. In addition to pneumonia and blood poisoning, the major causes of death, in hospitals, during the war, strep throat, scarlet fever, diphtheria, syphilis, gonorrhea, meningitis, tonsillitis, rheumatic fever, and many other diseases were successfully treated with penicillin. Fleming would, unfortunately, make a prediction that would come true. That the use of penicillin would, in time, be of limited value because bacteria would eventually recombine genetically to resist the effects of penicillin. By as early as 1952, as much as three-fifths of all staph infections were penicillin resistant. Various steps were taken so as to continue the use of antibiotics. New antibiotics are constantly being sought for this reason. Other approaches include using combination of antibiotics and changing the chemical structure of antibiotics in the laboratory so that all of slightly different properties. These attempts have all been tried and have been successful, but unfortunately, the bacteria are still recombining...
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