[Worldkings] Top 50 inventions that changed the world (P. 11) Antibiotics: Great antibacterials saving humans' lives from viruses


(Worldkings.org) Antibiotics changed modern medicine forever. Considered by many as one of the human's greatest creations, outsmarting bacteria.

An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the treatment and prevention of such infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. A limited number of antibiotics also possess antiprotozoal activity.


Before the discovery of penicillin by Scottish researcher Alexander Fleming, death by bacteria was fairly common to the extent that even the smaller little bug could be fatal. Famous for discovering the world's first widely effective antibiotic and naming it penicillin, Alexander Fleming is considered the man who opened the era of antibiotic use in medicine. His discovery in 1928 of what was later named benzylpenicillin (or penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium rubens is described as the "single greatest victory ever achieved over disease."


Scientists in Oxford were instrumental in developing the mass production process, and Howard Florey and Ernst Chain shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Alexander Fleming for their role in creating the first mass-produced antibiotic.

Penicillin was being widely used to treat troops for infections both in the field and in hospitals throughout Europe. By the end of World War II, penicillin was nicknamed 'the wonder drug' and helped save the lives of millions of soldiers, helping those who got sick from war or suffered life threating injuries.

Since then, antibiotics like penicillin and a host of others helped drastically reduce the mortality and even helped people live longer healthier lives.    


Today, antibiotics play a vital role in the medical world. Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent bacterial infections, and sometimes protozoan infections. (Metronidazole is effective against a number of parasitic diseases). To avoid surgery, antibiotics may also be given for non-complicated acute appendicitis. Besides, using antibiotics during surgical procedures is to help prevent infection of the incision.

They have an important role in dental antibiotic prophylaxis where their use may prevent bacteremia and consequent infective endocarditis. Antibiotics are also used to prevent infection in cases of neutropenia particularly cancer-related, ...


According to Wikipedia & interestingengineering.com

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