Sunday, February 3, 2013

Discovery of streptomycin

In1943, Albert Schatz, a graduate studied in soil microbiology at Cook College in Rutgers University, New Brunswick, discovered Streptomycin, which was active against gram positive bacteria and most importantly against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen responsible for tuberculosis.

Less than 6 months of intensive screening, Schatz isolated 2 strains of Actinomyces griseus which later rename Streptomyces griseus, which secreted a substance, streptomycin with activity against Gram-negative and Gram positive bacteria.

Streptomycin was toxin to many species of bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the bacteria that cause typhoid, tularemia and plaque.

The discovery was published in 1944 in Proceedings of the Society for Experimentally Biology and Medicine in a paper, ‘Streptomycin: a Substance Exhibiting Antibiotic Activity Against Gram Positive and Gram Negative Bacteria.’

Streptomycin was the first efficient remedy against tuberculosis, and it quickly reduced mortality from this disease.

In 1994 Schatz was awarded Rutgers’ highest honor, the Rutgers Medal as co-discoverer of streptomycin.
Discovery of streptomycin

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