Alexander Fleming was the first bacteriologist whose discovery of penicillin in 1928 paved the way for antibiotic therapy for infectious diseases. These Scotch medical scientists after taking his degree in 1906 at St. Mary’s Medical School London, started experiments on antibacterial substances into the same school. After that he went to the Army Medical Corps, and continued his research. As the world war one was over he came Jump to St. Mary’s Medical School. In 1928 while he was working on antibacterial substances he found a substance now called “Penicillin”.
Fleming was using a pantry dish for his antibacterial experiments. One day, he noticed that some strange flecks of fungus had grown in the uncovered pantry dish contained mucus from infected wounds. He also noticed that wherever the fungus had grown, the bacteria had died. The fungus had presumably been caused by a spore which had flown in through a window and settled on the pantry dish. Fleming concentrated on testing the strange growth. He found that it was “Penicillium”.
This was a very significant discovery, because the fluid acted as a powerful repellent to the growth of bacteria. Since this fluid was obtained from the penicillium fungus it was named as Penicillin. He found that even a diluted solution of this substance was quite effective in stopping bacterial growth.
During the world war 11 in June 1941 penicillin was tested on six patients. The results were very much encouraging but, unfortunately two patients died. This tragic incidence proved that it was essential to produce this in large quantities.
In 1941 Fleming went to U.S.A. and American drug manufacturers gave him full support. After many months extracting penicillin in quantities was discovered. Soon the manufacture and use of penicillin became wide spread and this antibiotic became the back bone of medical sciences. It saved thousand of lives during the World War II.
In 1945 Nobel prize for medicine was awarded to Sir Alexander Fleming and two other scientists who helped him and he died on 11th March 1955 in London.