Penicillin Research Paper

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Penicillin is a widely used antibiotic, favored for its effectiveness for multiple bacterial infections while keeping human cells healthy and abundance. It wasn’t always this way, penicillin needed an entire lab team to discover how to purify and produce enough to cure infections. First, it needed to be discovered. The man who did that was Dr. Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist at St. Mary’s hospital. He had returned to his lab to find that his improperly cleaned lab station had the mold Penicillium notatum, and the growth of staphylococcus aureus was inhibited on his plates. He took a few weeks to grow enough mold to test his findings, and discovered Penicillium notatum did in fact inhibit the growth of some bacteria. However, he did not …show more content…
Penicillin acts by targeting the cell wall, particularly in gram positive bacteria. Gram positive bacteria have a thick outer layer of peptidoglycan layer that gram negative bacteria lack (gram negative bacteria instead have another cell membrane). Penicillin acts on this peptidoglycan. Usually, when a bacterium divides small spaces open in the peptidoglycan, which are closed by transpeptidase by the process of transpeptidation. Penicillin binds to transpeptidase in the center layer of peptidoglycan and prevents transpeptidation, which leaves small gaps in the peptidoglycan. Since peptidoglycan regulates fluids and keeps excess water and other particles from entering the cell, the holes allow osmotic pressure to take over, causing water to rush into the cell, which causes the cell to burst. The amazing thing about this drug is that since it only impacts cells with a cell wall, more specifically a cell wall with a thick layer of peptidoglycan, human cells are not affected. This illustrates selective toxicity, while penicillin is extremely toxic to bacteria cells, it is not at all toxic to human cells. The benefit of this is penicillin can be administered in extremely high doses for serious infections, but not put the patient at risk. Penicillin can be administered either orally in a suspended solution, or intramuscularly. Everything absorbed through the small intestine or in the bloodstream is able to actively fight infections. Penicillin has a high efficacy, as it is efficient for gram positive bacteria (expect in cases of resistance), and the affinity is affected by the different types of penicillin and bacteria, as some forms bind better than others. The amount of time penicillin is in the bloodstream will depend on the age of the patient, and the half-life can range from 1.4-6.7 hours (Pacifici, Gian M. 2010), and it is eliminated by the renal system. The discrepancy of the

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