Category: Antibiotics

The term antibiotic means a group of compounds capable of preventing the development of bacteria. To indicate them, two other terms are used, sometimes without distinction: antibacterial and chemotherapeutic. Antibacterials of natural origin – the first to be discovered – are molecules that other microorganisms, mostly certain types of microscopic fungi (belonging to the group of molds), produce to defend themselves from bacterial infections. Historical example of this group is the penicillin, identified in 1928 by Alexander Fleming and so called because it is produced by a fungus of the genus Penicillium. Since then, starting from the original molecules they have been derived, through modifications of the chemical structure specifically studied to increase their efficacy, compounds which, precisely because of their “mixed” origin, are called semi-synthetic antibiotics.