Penicillium mould presented by Alexander Fleming, 1935
In 1928 Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), a British bacteriologist, observed that a stray growth of Penicillium mould could affect colonies of bacteria. Around a felt-like mould he noticed a sterile area where the growth of bacteria had stopped – although he didn’t realise the potential uses of penicillin. Penicillin was eventually isolated in 1940, and from 1942 became an important drug.
Related Themes and Topics
The first antibiotic drug to treat infections which is made from the mould penicillium. Its discovery is attributed to Alexander Fleming in 1928.
Branch of biology that deals with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their effects.
A substance that destroys bacteria or slows their growth or reproduction.
Micro-organisms which can cause disease but have an important role in global ecology.
A substance that is used to treat infections.
Glossary: penicillium mould
A collective growth of penicillium caused by bacteria. This was how penicillin was first discovered and grown by Alexander Fleming.
Glossary: sulfa drug
A group of antibiotics. Sulfa drugs were ‘wonder-drugs’ before penicillin and other antibiotics. They were used to treat diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia.