• Kaixin

Introduction to Antibiotics


I think nowadays everyone should be quite familiar with the antibiotic, from a strict prospect of view, antibiotic is a medicine that can restrain and kill all the life substance in a relatively low concentration. For example, we count all the medicines which treat bacteria, virus microorganism and even cancer as antibiotic.

According to the definition of the antibiotic, it is a medicine which can kill life substances in a low concentration, like virus and bacteria. There is a lot of things which are able to kill life substances, for example the antiseptic we used at home can also kill the life substances but It can only be called as antiseptic but not as antibiotic, the reason for this is this type of antiseptic can only be used outside of the human body but not inside. However, come up to the antibiotic, it is a relatively safe and less toxic medicine which can do its job in the human body by using a low concentration. The aiming for antibiotic is to kill all the microorganism which make us contacted, its final prepuce is to kill the causative agent, in order to control the separating of the bacteria, and finally treat the disease.

How does the antibiotic be made? Well, antibiotic is a kind of Secondary Metabolite which is formed when the organisms grow to a certain time or in the other words to a certain condition. It is formed because it is an abnormal reaction which made by the microorganism. During the most of times when organisms are producing antibiotic the growth will stop, for the two of them will not happen at the same time. Nowadays the producing process of the antibiotic is using the ferment of the microorganism method to encourage the bio-compose happens. Few of the antibiotic like chloramphenicol can also be produced by using chemical-compose method, furthermore, based on the antibiotic which we got from the method of bio-compose we can also get other derivative from it by changing the structure of the molecules, and we call this semisynthetic antibiotics, just like Ampicillin.

So when do we actually start to use the antibiotic? Tradition has it that 2500 years ago, our ancestors used the moulds which grows on the bean curd to treat the disease. Alleged anti biotic physiotherapy, at the most of the time is using antagonistic bacteria to compact with the infectious disease. However, this kind of method sometimes work well but sometimes do not. Thus it has not been widely used. 1928, a British scientist Alexander Fleming accidently find the penicillin, which I am going to talk about later in details. In 1938, Chain and Florey and rest of the scientists successfully find the penicillin again from the inoculum of the penicillium nature. At the beginning of the 1940s, along the method of culture has been improved, the cost of making the Penicillin is decreasing dramatically, thus the large quantities of industrial production started and this makes the amount of Penicillin which is produced grow rapidly. Because of the discover of the Penicillin, it saved a lot of patients' lives. Because scientists Fleming, Florey and Chain were awarded the Noble Prize at 1945. Later a new series of the antibiotics have been found, Streptomycin was found in 1945, Chloramphenicol was found in 1947, Aureomycin in 1948, fradiomycin in 1949 and so on. However, because of the wide using of the antibiotics the bacteria start to become drug fast. Here is an example, when Penicillin G first starts to use there is only 8% of the Staphylococcus has the drug fast appearance, but up to 1962 there is 70% of them and the studies show it is still increasing.

After we have seen the brief summary of the antibiotics, let us have a look at the first category of the antibiotic which is found in human history, Broad-spectrum Antibiotics, and also the very first Antibiotic, Penicillin.