An antibiotic is a medicine which is used to treat bacterial infections as well as diseases caused by bacteria. It works by targeting certain characteristics of foreign cells that are not present in human cells. For example, the antibiotic Penicillin prevents bacteria from forming a cell wall (which human cells don’t have). This leaves the bacteria vulnerable to the body’s defences. Ironically, antibiotics that kill bacteria are made from bacteria themselves.
Above: Chemical structure of Penicillin
The greatest advancement in antibiotic technology was the discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Flemming. He found that a certain fungus would quickly kill a certain type of bacteria which caused infection in wounds. It would do this even if diluted 800 times. Since then, antibiotics have become common, and many advancements have been made which bettered the lives of people who suffer from certain diseases.
Above: Alexander Flemming