25 September, 2008

Penicillin producing mold

Photo:  The mold culture of penicillium notatum
             which produce penicillins.
          Microbe Library; American Society for Microbiology

In 1928, Dr Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered that  around green
mold, the staphylococcal colonies are dissolved. He named unidentified 
substance , which killed staphylococcus, as penicillin.  But Dr. Fleming did 
not continued the study of penicillin.

Ten years later Dr. Chain and Professor Florey at Oxford University,
picked up the penicillin and to extract, purified of it.   In 1940, they 
succeeded the cure of infected mouse by penicillin. and next year, 
done the first clinical trials of penicillin in human infection.

The mold which produce penicillins belong to penicillium notatum.  
The extraction of penicillins were difficult works, because the 
productivity of penicillins by mold were vary in culture media and 
conditions and very unstable small molecules(its molecular weights
is from 310 to 350).

Any questions ?     write to Keiji Hagiwara, MD
                                                 Kami-Ube Pediatric Clinic