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Antibiotic – or more commonly known in plural form: antibiotics – is a term that biologists use to refer to substances produced by living organisms with the purpose of keeping other organisms at bay. For instance, both bacteria and fungi live either as parasites or by breaking down dead matter. Since both share the same food source, they attempt to poison each other by secreting substances that the other cannot tolerate. For example, penicillin is produced by penicillium mold to ward off bacteria, while actinobacteria produce amphotericin to keep fungi away. Sound complicated? It’s really not, so here are ten facts you should know about the subject!

Convinced the world in a drastic way…

To prove that ulcers are caused by bacteria, researcher Barry Marshall drank broth filled with infectious bacteria, developed ulcers, and cured himself with antibiotics. He won a Nobel Prize in 2005.

Food allergies – a growing issue…

Researchers have identified a naturally occurring bacterium in the human gut that prevents us from developing food allergies. However, these beneficial gut bacteria decrease with frequent antibiotic use at a young age, making children more susceptible to food allergies later in life.

Counterfeit medicines lead to high death rates…

Over 30% of all drugs sold in developing countries are counterfeit. Approximately 50% of malaria drugs and up to 30% of all antibiotics are fake, primarily from India. Over 700,000 people die each year from consuming counterfeit drugs.

Used in moldy bread by the Egyptians…

Ancient Egyptians used moldy bread as a treatment for infected burns, potentially already utilizing the antibiotic effects of mold, accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming.

A global giant issue in the meat industry…

A U.S. survey of consumer reports found that 93% of doctors are concerned about the meat industry using antibiotics on perfectly healthy animals.

New antibiotic substances discovered thanks to frogs…

Before refrigeration, it wasn’t uncommon to place a frog in a milk bottle to keep it fresh. Studying this phenomenon has led to the discovery of new antibiotic substances.

Peanut allergy may be linked to antibiotics…

Administering antibiotics to children can be life-saving – but it also significantly increases the risk of developing a peanut allergy.

Cockroach brains may come to the rescue…

Cockroach brains carry helpful antibiotics, strong enough to kill bacteria that have developed resistance to the hospital-grade antibiotics we humans use.

Once again, a major issue in the meat industry…

Roughly 80% of all antibiotics sold are estimated to be used in the animal and meat industry, as a report from 2011 indicates.

The rescue might be found…

The newly discovered antibiotic (Teixobactin), the first in 30 years, could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics due to its discovery process using an electronic chip to cultivate microbes from the soil and then isolate their chemical compounds.


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