What a remarkable man, and what a remarkable discovery, but what has this magnificent discovery led to? What has penicillin done for humanity? The discovery quickly led to a number of pharmaceutical industries beginning to screen a variety of products for antibacterial activity, which led to a whole host of new antibiotics, penicillin clearly led the way in that development. Today penicillin is used all over the world and has saved millions of lives. Prior to the discovery of penicillin, diseases such as pneumonia could be fatal. Penicillin was available for mass production during the second world war and hence saved many allied soldiers lives. Penicillin also led to a particularly marked reduction in the number of Allied soldiers inactivated by venereal disease.

When discussing what penicillin has done for the world, some scientist like to ponder on what the world would have looked like without the penicillin. There are many ifs and buts when talking about what could have happened if penicillin would not have been discovered. Some suggest that while many would have died, that without penicillin there may have been another discovery made, one covering a wider array of bacteria. Others believe that we would be more keen to learn about dealing with contamination risks. When we get sick today, getting cured is something we take for granted. You could argue that we are too incautious

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Penicillin has done a lot of good for the world, it has paved the way for many other antibiotics, it has saved countless amounts of lives, it has given us a society where we don’t have to fear for our lives when we acquire illnesses such as meningitis. Though there are many good things penicillin has done, it is also the reason behind one of the greatest challenges we face today. Antibiotic resistance, it will arguably grow to be one of the largest problems worldwide in the future. For those of you who do not have a clue of what I am talking about, wake up! Antibiotic resistance, refers to the bacterias that through exposure towards various antibiotics, such as penicillin, change and become resistant, thus rendering the penicillin useless. Patients with infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria are at increased risk of worse clinical outcomes and death. They also consume more health-care resources than patients infected with non-resistant strains of the same bacteria due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs. Today bacteria are evolving faster than our medicine, eventually this will take us back to where we were before Fleming discovered penicillin, eventually we are going to need another moment in time.

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