Penicillin and Streptomycin: A Heritage to be Preserved

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 29-Feb-2016

Penicillin and Streptomycin are two antibiotics used in the treatment of various bacterial infections. A few decades ago, with no treatment available, a minor wound could cost lives. Bacterial infections were then the major cause of mortality. The discovery of Penicillin not just saved lives but also revolutionized medical and pharmaceutical sciences. Due to their wide antibacterial scope, today Penicillin and Streptomycin are the most widely used antibiotics. The use antibiotics such as Penicillin and Streptomycin have surely contributed to extending the lifespan of human beings.  

Penicillins are used in the treatment of diseases such as meningitis, throat infections, syphilis and so on. Streptomycin on the other hand, is used in the treatment of Tuberculosis. Antibiotics have helped in the expansion of highly complex medical interventions such as organ transplantations. These antibiotics are not just used for humans but are also used in animal husbandry, animal medicine and in the treatment of crop diseases. But the day is not far when these revolutionary medicines would fail to fight against diseases. The biggest challenge faced by the antibiotic world today is the development of antibiotic resistance. Resistance towards penicillin came into notice during the 1960’s and since then it has been spreading gradually.

Each day thousands of bacteria are mutating making themselves immune to antibiotics. The day will not be far when once again minor injuries will be able to claim lives. Antibiotic resistance will limit various medical procedures. It is not just a peril to life but also poses a great threat to the economy. Centre for disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses are caused due to antibiotic resistance. Gram-negative bacteria, enterobacteriacea and various Staphylococcus strains are some examples of bacteria resistant to penicillin. Overuse, overprescribing, improper and incomplete use of antibiotics has led to antibacterial resistance. Antibacterial resistance is now proving to be a major public health threat.

Despite the given circumstances, Penicillins and Streptomycins still continue to be the most widely used drugs, due to their efficacy, fewer side effects and affordability.  Pharmaceutical companies should dedicate their resources in order to preserve and promote the continuous availability of these revolutionary medicines by modifications in the drug to increase its effectiveness. More of research and development, educating the public and judicial use of antibiotics needs to be encouraged to combat the menace of antibacterial resistance and protect the heritage of antibiotics.

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