Drug discovery, made by soil scientist

History of discoveries and inventions is sometimes surprising, confusing and even paradoxical. It happens that the researcher put before him achieve the same goal, and came to the other and more important; or by searching in his scientific field, to make discoveries completely different. Discovery, which will be discussed here, just falls into the latter category.

In the first half of the XX century, many scientists have been seeking means to combat tuberculosis. In one US academic institutions that develop this problem, drew attention to an interesting fact: tubercle bacilli contained in large quantities in the sputum of tuberculosis patients die when they get into the ground. The study of this issue was requested Zel'manov Waxman - known in professional circles connoisseur of soil bacteria.

Waxman many years engaged in soil science and his laboratory has studied the ability of the soil to transform deprived of life and values ​​matter in full, life-giving, that is, forming fertile soil and dreamed, apparently, the opening in the field of agriculture. In the soil, growing and developing many kinds of bacteria and fungi. The scientist had already 25 years persistently investigated soil fungus belonging to Streptomyces mind, namely a group of ray fungi.

So Waxman accepted the offer - soil scientist began to look for a cure for people.

First, he decided to test the ability of the soil to the destruction of tubercle bacilli, which culture malicious sticks just to cover the earth. Soon tubercle bacilli disappeared - their land destroyed. This was the first step towards opening the necessary medication. But a small lump of earth contains innumerable variety of microorganisms, including the need to find those that have the desired properties.

(To be fair, that really the first discovery of the therapeutic properties of the soil made by our ancestors. Prior to the pollution of the environment, rural people plastered earth minor wounds and abrasions, which are then successfully overgrown.)

Only a year later laboratory Waxman take the next step to the discovery in the cultural radiant fungus was discovered antibiotic actinomycin, which, unfortunately, proved to be very poisonous. Made discoveries and other antibiotics again be poisonous.

Only in 1942 was finally made the long-awaited discovery found non-toxic antibiotic substance that successfully destroy tubercle bacilli. Waxman called this substance streptothricins under which then developed a remedy streptomycin.

At that time already was the era of antibiotics, but Waxman managed to open this one that complements penicillin, which is not a universal remedy against all infections. The discovery of streptomycin give doctors an additional means of combating infectious diseases. It should be noted that patients allergic to penicillin, advantageously have a normal reaction to streptomycin.

The publication of the first reports on the opening of a new anti-tuberculosis drug and its favorable results attracted attention. Millions of patients willing to use it immediately, but to the industrial production of drugs had not yet been established.

After clinical testing of the therapeutic agent discovery of streptomycin finally found its practical implementation in 1949, when the industrial production of the now well-known effective therapeutic drug.


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