Fungi in Medicine
We probably have all heard the story about penicillin being discovered by chance when some research egghead named Fleming returned from holiday to find that his bacteria had been slaughtered by a rampaging fungus. Different versions of the story differ as to whether there and then he recognized the thing as the first antibiotic. And they also differ in the way they describe if and how Britain and the United States collaborated to pro-duce the material that would save humanity from disease. Well, no certain version of the story can be either entirely true or entirely wrong. But I don’t intend to contribute to the variety of stories, because I don’t want to Start here. Rather, I want to Start by painting a picture of the magnitude of the change in lifestyle that was brought about by antibiotics. Today we take antibiotics for granted. When you have a mildly sore throat, you take an antibiotic; when you have a slight injury, you take an antibiotic, “in case of complication.” It’s all become so trivial and ordinary. But the changes created by the immediate availability of antibiotics were far from trivial. For the first time in human history, they brought freedom from fear of inevitable death from blood poisoning of various sorts. A death waiting for everyone for the most trifling of reasons.
KeywordsErgot Alkaloid Puerperal Fever Penicillin Production Fungal Product Chronic Rhinitis
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