Sir Alexander Fleming and the Discovery of Penicillin Presentation

Introduction: Who was Fleming?

  • Alexander Hugh Fleming was born at Lochfield Farm in Ayrshire, Scotland on sixth August 1881 (Mazumdar, 2004).
  • Educated at Loudon Moor School, Darvel School, Kilmarnock Academy and the Royal Polytechnic Institution.
  • Took an MBBS diploma at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, Paddington, between 1903 and 1906 and earned a BSc Degree in bacteriology in 1914.
  • Served as a captain within the Royal Army Medical Corps in WW1 IN France and North Africa.
  • Discouraged using antiseptics as a result of it killed pure micro organism that shield wounds from infections.
  • Discovered the enzyme “lysozyme” in 1921 (Hugh, 2002).
  • Accidentally found penicillin, the treatment for micro organism, in 1928.

The Problem

  • Previously, the existence of bacterium had been studied after the invention by the French biologist Louis Pasteur years earlier than Fleming.
  • The main drawback was the best way to kill pathogenic micro organism that contaminated tens of millions of individuals world wide (Bennett & Chung, 2001).
  • The main drawback through the time was to deal with infections in wounds that was killing 1000’s of troopers through the first world warfare.
  • Sulphonamides had been the preferred antibiotics, together with the Protonsil that had been found in Germany.
  • However, sulphonamides had been ineffective and the therapy triggered many deaths.
  • Most physicians had been utilizing antiseptics to deal with wounds, however this elevated the speed of an infection by pathogenic micro organism.
  • Fleming hypothesized that antiseptics had been killing the pure microorganisms that had been defending the injuries from pathogenic infections.

The experiment

  • He left a number of cultures of the micro organism on a bench in his lab in August 1928 earlier than leaving for a vacation.
  • Returned on September 1928 and located colonies of fungi rising on the cultures.
  • He realized that the colonies of Staphylococcus surrounding the fungus had been being eradicated by the fungal growths on the media (McIntyre, 2007).
  • Predicted that the fungi had some “funny” impact on the micro organism (Fleming, 1929).
  • He replicated the experiment by rising pure fungi in new cultures and infect them with staphylococcus micro organism. He realized a substance launched by the fungi was answerable for the dying of the micro organism.
  • On March 1929, he found “penicillin”, the fungal secretion that was answerable for the dying of the micro organism.
  • In 1929, he revealed his findings within the British journal of experimental pathology.
  • However, it didn’t appeal to the eye of the scientific and medical neighborhood.
  • Fleming thought that mass manufacturing of penicillin was not potential due to the problem in isolation and the gradual progress of the fungi.
  • He additionally thought that penicillin couldn’t final lengthy to kill micro organism as soon as launched within the body- it was an in vitro discovery (De la Bédoyère, 2005).

Theory and evaluation

  • Howard Florey and Ernst Chain repeated the experiment in Nineteen Thirties.
  • Chain and Edward Abraham researched extra on the product and found the best way to isolate the product in vitro.
  • Edward Abraham proposed the right biochemical construction of the brand new product.
  • Norman Hartley proposed the switch of the lively ingredient of the product into the water by altering the pH, which led to mass manufacturing.
  • Successful scientific trials had been carried out between 1940 and 1944.
  • Almost all micro organism had been killed in animals and people.

Effects of the invention

  • After the experiments by Howard, Chain, Abraham and Hartley, penicillin gained world-wide applause.
  • Antibiotic medicine had been produced in massive lots to satisfy the calls for of the WW2.
  • By 1944, penicillin was getting used to deal with the allied forces with success (Sykes, 2001).
  • It diminished the variety of deaths through the warfare.
  • Since then, penicillin-containing antibiotics have been used to deal with varied bacterial medicine, lowering the variety of infections and deaths by a big share.
  • The 1945 Nobel Price for Medicine and Physiology went to Fleming, Florey and Chain (Raju, 2009).


  • The scientific technique used within the discovery of penicillin follows the traditional tradition experiment within the lab and managed scientific trials mentioned in school.
  • First, a bacterial tradition (by chance) was contaminated with fungi Penicillium spp (Landsberg, 1999).
  • Penicillum spp produced penicillin secretions that prohibited the expansion of micro organism within the media.
  • Penicillum species colonies had been transferred in a recent medium and staphyloccocus spp launched.
  • The fungi prohibited the additional progress of the micro organism.
  • Penicillin was remoted from the fungi and examined in vitro with micro organism and the identical statement made.
  • The biochemical construction of penicillin was elucidated.
  • Mass manufacturing of the product from the fungi species was achieved utilizing under-the-water experiment.
  • Laboratory animals had been contaminated with penicillin (in vivo testing) (Radetsky, 2006).
  • Controlled scientific trials had been carried out with human individuals.
  • The penicillin was capable of kill micro organism in vivo.
  • Penicillin medicine had been produced.


Bennett, J. W., & Chung, Ok. T. (2001). Alexander Fleming and the invention of penicillin. Advances in utilized microbiology, 49, 163-184.

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De la Bédoyère, G. (2005). The Discovery of Penicillin. Evans Brothers.

Fleming, A. (1929). On the antibacterial motion of cultures of a penicillium, with particular reference to their use within the isolation of B. influenzae. British journal of experimental pathology, 10(3), 226.

Hugh, T. B. (2002). Howard Florey, Alexander Fleming and the fairy story of penicillin. The Medical journal of Australia 177(1), 52–53.

Landsberg, H. (1999). Prelude to the invention of penicillin. Isis, 225-227.

Mazumdar, P. (2004). Fleming as Bacteriologist: Alexander Fleming. Science 225(4667), 1140–1141.

McIntyre, N. (2007). Sir Alexander Fleming. Journal of medical biography 15(4), 234.

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Radetsky, M. (2006). The discovery of penicillin. The Pediatric infectious illness journal, 15(9), 811-818.

Raju, T. N. (2009). The Nobel chronicles. 1945: Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955); Sir Ernst Boris Chain (1906-79); and Baron Howard Walter Florey (1898-1968). Lancet 353(9156), 936.

Sykes, R. (2001). Penicillin: from discovery to product. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 79(8), 778-779.

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