Penicillin is a wonder drug that saved many lives sicne it was discovered by Alexander Flemming by accident. It was the first antibiotic used in treating bacterial infections and was used in the second worldwar extensively that saved many soldiers lives. It is used today to treat bacterial infections such as ear infections and is the antibiotic of choice in treating infections caused by grampositive bacteria. Penicillins belongs to the ß-lactam antibiotics which are a group of drugs with a central nucleus of ß-lactam in the molecular structure of the drug. ß-lactam antibiotics mode of operation is, inhibiting bacteria from sythesizing the cell wall which kills the bacteria and thus treats the infection. Cephalosporins along with penicillins come under this group of drugs.
Penicillin was discovered by a scottish scientist and a Nobel Laureate, Alexander Fleming in the year 1928. He observed a colony of the mold (Penicillium notatum) which contaminated a petri dish of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. He called it antibiosis. Though he discovered penicillin mould, he could not isolate it into any useful product so he published his journal on the ability of penicillin to kill staphylococcus bacteria.
In 1940 during the second worldwar two Oxford scientists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain decided to work on penicllin. They isolated a brown powder which had a longer antibacterial power and was safe, which immediately went into mass production and was used in the second world war to combat infections which was a life saving drug. All three of them shared the nobel prize in 1945. Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau developed the deeptank fermentation method for large scale production of Penicillin.
Penicillin is group of antibiotics derives from Penicillin fungi. All penicillins are beta-lactam antibiotics and are used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by mostly gram-positive, organisms.Beta-lactams work by inhibiting the bacteria's ability to synthesize cell wall. Bacteria are smart! In response to this they develop a betalactam synthetase, which actually attacks the beta-lactam ring. Therefore beta- lactam synthetase inhibitor(clavulinic acid) is normally given along with beta lactam antibiotics. It is a secondary metabolite which is produced to stress caused by inhibition of growth of the penicillin fungi.
α-ketoglutarate + AcCoA → homocitrate → L-α-aminoadipic acid → L-Lysine + β-lactam
Penicillin is grown by the fed-batch culture where it is subjected to constant stress resulting in plentiful production of penicillin. The type of substrate used is important. Using glucose inhibits the growth of penicillin but lactose aids in its production. pH of the solution, levels of lysine , oxygen, nitrogen and phosphates must be monitored.