Microbes in medicine
Microbes like bacteria and fungi produce antibiotics. The substance
produced by a living organism, which inhibits the growth and metabolic activities of pathogenic organisms (mostly bacteria) without affecting the metabolism of host is called an antibiotic.
Penicillin, streptomycin, aureomycin and chloromycetin are some of the examples for antibiotics.
Penicillin is a well known antibiotic obtained from the blue green mold called Penicillium notatum. When it is grown in culture medium, the mycelium excretes an antibiotic substance called penicillin.
The crude penicillin is recovered, purified and dehydrated. It is effective against gram-positive bacteria like Pneumonia bacteria.
Streptomycin is obtained from the filamentous bacterium, Streptomyces griseus, an actinomycetes.
It cures urinary infections, tuberculosis, meningitis and pneumonia. Aureomycin mis obtained from actinomycetes, Streptomyces aureofaciens.
It is used as a medicine in the osteomyelitis, whooping cough and eye infections.
Chloromycetin is obtained from the actinomycete, Streptomyces
venezuelae. It kills bacillus form of bacteria and cures typhoid fever.
Aspergillus fumigatus produces antibiotic which is used against typhoid and dysentery.
Other group of microorganism like bacteria is also known
to produce many antibiotics. Bacillus subtilis produces 60 different
Bacitracin is an antibiotic obtained from Bacillus licheniformis
and it is used to treat syphilis. It is useful in the control of sugar for
persons suffering from diabetes.
Through genetic manipulation, and introduction of human gene for insulin production, the bacterium E. coli is articulated to produce human insulin called “humulin”.