When Were The First Antibiotics Developed?


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Kath Senior answered
Bacterial infections have been a big killer throughout the history of the human population. Once a serious bacterial infection takes, hold, the body's defences cannot hold it in check and the infection is fatal.

Only one hundred years ago, it was fairly common to die from a boil or an infected cut.

Today we have a huge range of antibiotics and battle with the problem of antibiotic resistance, but at least the majority of infections can be treated successfully,

The first antibiotic to be discovered was penicillin, which was developed through the 1930s and 1940s. Penicillin, like many other antibiotics in use today, is a substance produced naturally by a fungus. However, there are plenty of other sources, some that you would never think of - such as snowdrop bulbs, toad skin and onions.

Today many antibiotics are also chemically synthesed and new classes are sought to try to stay one step ahead of the bacteria.

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