thing and antibiotic

Aged unknown

Penicillins (P, PCN or PEN) are a group of β-lactam antibiotics originally obtained from Penicillium moulds, principally P. chrysogenum and P. rubens. Most penicillins in clinical use are synthesised by P. chrysogenum using deep tank fermentation and then purified. A number of natural penicillins have been discovered, but only two purified compounds are in clinical use: penicillin G (intramuscular or intravenous use) and penicillin V (given by mouth). Penicillins were among the first medications to be effective against many bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. They are still widely used today for different bacterial infections, though many types of bacteria have developed resistance following extensive use. 10% of the population claims penicillin allergies but because the frequency of positive skin test results decreases by 10% with each year of avoidance, 90% of these patients can tolerate penicillin. Additionally, those with penicillin allergies can usually tolerate cephalosporins (another group of β-lactam) because the Immunoglobulin E (IgE) cross-reactivity is only 3%. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming as a crude extract of P. rubens. Fleming's student Cecil George Paine was the first to successfully use penicillin to treat eye infection (Ophthalmia neonatorum) in 1930. The purified compound (penicillin F) was isolated in 1940 by a research team led by Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at the University of Oxford. Fleming first used the purified penicillin to treat streptococcal meningitis in 1942. The 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared by Chain, Fleming, and Florey. Several semisynthetic penicillins are effective against a broader spectrum of bacteria: these include the antistaphylococcal penicillins, aminopenicillins, and antipseudomonal penicillins.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Sir Alexander Fleming 1881-1955 discovered penicillin in the second storey room above this plaque

St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, W2, London, United Kingdom where it was discovered (1928)

G. Raymond Rettew. A West Chester chemist, he pioneered the mass production of penicillin, the world's first antibiotic. In 1943, with Wyeth Laboratories, his lab ( a converted auto repair shop here) made & sent more penicillin to the Armed Forces than any other lab in the world, saving countless lives on the battlefields of World War II.

Walnut & Chestnut Streets, West Chester, PA, United States where it was manufactured

In this former Pharmacy Kenneth White made the first penicillin for civilian use during WW2 at these premises 1943-1951

Cellar Wines, The Old Cellar, High Street, Ripley, United Kingdom where it was manufactured (1942-1951)