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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-Biology

10.3 Antibiotics

Definition : "An antibiotic is the complex organic chemical substance which is produced as the secondary metabolite by one micro-organism and acts as a toxin against other micro-organisms; either inhibiting their growth or killing them."

Figure 10.2 A stirred tank fermenter

Historical account : Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be produced industrially. The credit for the discovery of penicillin goes to Sir Alexander Fleming (1929). He extracted it from Penicillium notatum under laboratory conditions. However, the remarkable chemotherapeutic effectiveness of penicillin was demonstrated by Ernst B. Chain and Sir Howar W. Florey during 1939-41. Fleming, Chain and Florey shared the Nobel Prize in 1945 for their contributions in the field of antibiotics.

Selman Waksman (1942) coined the term "antibiotics". He also discovered streptomycin.
Several thousand antibiotic substances have been discovered since then, although only a few are of chemotherapeutic importance for the cure of certain human diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

Table of Contents

10.0 - Introduction
10.1 Fermentation
10.2 Manufacture of Alcohol
10.3 Antibiotics
10.4 Vitamins

Chapter 11


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