Where does penicillin come from?
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Q:

Where does penicillin come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Penicillin comes from molds of the genus Penicillium. The scientist Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin accidentally, but he was never able to obtain a pure sample of the organism; however, he did find that penicillin was potent against bacterial growth.

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Full Answer

Penicillin is an antibiotic, an agent that stops the growth of other organisms. The first Penicillium mold prevented a culture of Staphylococcus aureus from growing. All types of penicillin kill bacteria by preventing bacteria from synthesizing their cell walls, which are vitally important to bacteria because the cell wall regulates the flow of water into the cell. If water flowed freely, it would cause the cell to swell and eventually burst.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is penicillin so important?

    A:

    Penicillin is an antibiotic used to treat many different types of bacterial infections. There also are different types of penicillin, such as penicillin V and G, that are administered for conditions such as leptospirosis and Lyme disease, notes Mayo Clinic. From its discovery in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, penicillin's importance in medicine cannot be understated.

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  • Q:

    Can you overdose on penicillin?

    A:

    It is possible to overdose on penicillin. Taking more than the recommended dosage of the antibiotic, which is commonly used to treat bacterial infections like ear infections and respiratory infections, can cause adverse health effects.

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  • Q:

    How does penicillin work?

    A:

    Penicillin attacks the bacteria that causes infection, as noted by Medical News Today. The antibiotic originates from fungi and is usually the first used in treating bacterial infections.

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  • Q:

    What does penicillin cure?

    A:

    According to Right Diagnosis from Health Grades, penicillin cures a host of illnesses, including acute rheumatic fever, syphilis, tonsillitis, gangrene and gonorrhea. Penicillin treats diseases by attacking protective cell walls around bacteria.

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