When were antibiotics first discovered?

When it comes to life-saving medicinal discoveries, few have been as important as antibiotics. These little pills can cure infections that would once have proved fatal and helped humanity conquer some of its most dangerous foes like pneumococcus, streptococcus or diarrhea. But when did the discovery of antibiotics take place? How did people find out about them in the first place? Are penicillin and amoxicillin different or are they just fancy names for Instagram filters?

Humble Beginnings

To answer these questions properly, we need to travel back in time to a world without smartphones, memes or Miley Cyrus twerking on stage. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. We’re talking about the 1920s! A time where people wore hats all day long and got excited over silent movies.

It was during this era that a young Scottish doctor named Alexander Fleming made a discovery so radical that it ended up saving countless lives around the globe – no pressure! In 1928, while he was working with bacteria cultures at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London he came across something strange: Penicillium mould had contaminated one of his petri dishes full of Staphylococcus aureus cells . When he looked closely at this dish under his microscope (which honestly must’ve been quite boring), Flening discovered something remarkable: wherever there were colonies growing among the bacterial cells , there was no growth amongst S.aureus cells except from right next to Penicillium spores which actually caused blisters on some experimental animals’ skin confirming its toxicity (cool party trick)!

What happened next is history – Dr Fleming went on to win both fame within scientific circles but also landed himself upon “Mad Scientist” bubblegum trading cards through diligent promotion by Youtuber infectiologist channels .

Such recognition wasn’t undeserved. Thanks to his discovery, penicillin was identified in 1945 as a individual molecule and mass manufactured during World War II by British company Boots!

So Many Different Kinds of Antibiotics

Nowadays, we take various kinds of antibiotics for granted – if you have an ear infection or strep throat , the doctor just prescribes some pills (or syrup) that will help your body get well in no time. But at the time when Fleming made histoeonic discovery people couldn’t imagine medicines that were good enough to save lives whenever one had an infection . As years passed since this historic event scientific giants built on these initial progressions and paved a path forward.

But it has taken us over ninety years (!!!) to get them right! In addition to different types of bacteria- targeting antibiotics like Penicillin there are other treatments like amoxicillin which is safe for pregnant women albeit less potent than Levofloxacin would not be recommended for individuals allergic toward cephalosporins-(a family containing its medicinal counterpart). Regardless Despite all their differences, though our little magic pills still have one thing in common: they’re meant to keep us healthy .

To make things even more confusing there is a whole bunch of different “families” of antibiotics available nowadays : We’ve got Tetracyclines, Aminoglycosides, Macrolidesand many others who are too geeky to mention (looking at YOU Telithromycin!). Some work better against certain infections than others do but I don’t want bore you with endless lists; let’s just say everyone should listen carefully their doctor before popping any kind medicine due despite your ‘Google-fu’ skills coupled alongside WebMD satisfaction.

From Cave People To Modern Day

It took us millions of years from cave painting scrolls till modern day times – yet we can actually cure people using microbial defenses such antibiotics . That’s right: bacteria, which often has a bad reputation due to food poisoning and other illnesses is also responsible for our medicinal salvation!

It later turned out (no pun intended) that there were many different kinds of antimicrobial substances (ones that killed microbes just like antibiotics did) produced by nature well before people started refining penicillin. But no one really knew how they worked until Fleming’s discovery finally helped reveal the solution under his microscope.


Antibiotics represent one of the greatest medical breakthroughs ever made. Their legacy will forever continue as it saves countless lives each year globally; helping us understand not only more about bacteria but also our own bodies thanks to its role in immunity chemistry! It’s all rather fascinating when you think about it, isn’t it? And with so much exciting research still happening today, who knows what wonders await us over the next hundred years… why not greet them with open arms – sanitized completely from head-to-toe?