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.

Continue Reading
Where does penicillin come from?
Credit: slightlyeverything CC-BY-2.0

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.

Learn more about Medications & Vitamins

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long does it take for penicillin to take effect?

    A:

    Penicillin normally takes a few hours to about 5 days to take effect; however, it doesn't relieve pain. Penicillin is a combination of antibiotics that only protects the body from bacterial infection or treats the body against current infection. Penicillin normally inhibits the new bacteria, but it does not work when bacteria replicates.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does penicillin do?

    A:

    Penicillin treats different illnesses by preventing the spread of bacteria, according to MedicineNet. It treats such ailments as middle ear infections, laryngitis, bronchitis and urinary tract infections.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is penicillin used for?

    A:

    Penicillin is a family of antibiotics used for fighting many bacterial infections. According to Mayo Clinic, medications in the penicillin group work both by killing target bacteria and by inhibiting their growth and reproduction inside the body.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore