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Magic Bullets. Prevention is better than Cure Unless you have got the Disease!. Prevention Cause Cure. Behring’s Biological Bullets. Part of Koch’s research team He recognised that animals try to produce anti-bodies to fight any invading bacteria

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magic bullets

Magic Bullets

Prevention is better than Cure

Unless you have got the Disease!

  • Cause
  • Cure
behring s biological bullets
Behring’s Biological Bullets
  • Part of Koch’s research team
  • He recognised that animals try to produce anti-bodies to fight any invading bacteria
  • He successfully identified the anti-bodies that fought Diphtheria
    • Removed the clotting agents
    • Injected it into infected people
    • The anti-bodies killed the germs but nothing else
      • Magic Bullet
salvarsan 606
Salvarsan 606
  • Paul Ehrlich
    • Part of Koch’s staining team
    • Had worked with Behring
      • He wanted to create a chemical version of the Behring’s anti-bodies
        • Chemicals which killed the germs but nothing else
  • Using Dyes to kill the Syphilis Bacteria
    • These were not harmful enough to the germs
    • He switched to Arsenic compounds
    • After 605 attempts at varying the dosage they still had no luck
    • Compound 606 worked
      • They nearly missed it! Only when Hata retested it
  • Gerhardt Domagk
    • Experimented with Dyes

to fight Blood Poisoning

      • Some reasonable success using mice
  • His daughter accidentally chased her Guinea Pig into his research room and infected herself with some contaminated blood
  • Domagk was forced to try out his discovery
    • Luckily it worked
  • The second chemical bullet had been discovered
industrialising production of the magic bullets
Industrialising Production of the Magic Bullets
  • How did Prontosil work
    • What was the active ingredient of Prontosil
    • Electron Microscope invented 1931
    • Sulphanomide
    • Extracted from Coal Tar
  • Sulphanomides adapted by Drug Companies
    • Scarlet fever, meningitis, Gonorrhoea, Pneumonia
      • See graph page 155 for effectiveness of sulphanomides
penicillin the guided missile
Penicillin – The Guided Missile
  • Most infections caused by the powerful germs:
    • Staphylococci
    • Streptococci
  • No drugs effectively killed these germs
  • Infections would spread across the whole body
    • Death likely
alexander fleming s accidental discovery
Alexander Fleming’s Accidental Discovery
  • In 1928, Fleming was researching the Staphylococci germ
  • He had lots of Culture plates lying around (in the sink)
  • He went on holiday and left the window ajar
  • On his return and before he cleaned up, he noticed that the Staphylococci on one of the plates had been killed off
  • He immediately rushed to see what was responsible
  • A small fungus called Penicillium had blown through the window
  • He wrote a paper explaining what had happened but he could not figure out a way of growing the fungus
mass producing penicillin
Mass Producing Penicillin
  • Howard Florey and Ernst Chain
    • Read Fleming’s paper with interest
  • World War II broke out in 1939
    • Government grants to discover a way of growing Penicillium
  • The Milk Bottle Process
    • They needed as much surface area as possible to grow the mould
    • Slowly gathered a few grams of penicillin
does it work
Does it work?
  • Testing process of Penicillin
    • On mice
      • 8 mice were injected with Staphylococci
      • 4 were given Penicillin, 4 were not
      • Which 4 died?
    • On a policeman in 1941
      • With a spreading infection
      • Immediately he improved but there was not enough Penicillin to give him
        • Recycled through his urine
      • Unfortunately, he died as the dosage required was more than they had.
  • Obviously, it was a very powerful drug, but it was so hard to produce
the usa helps out
The USA Helps Out
  • Research was difficult in war torn Britain
  • Florey was sent to the USA to continue his research
    • Spores were spread on his jacket
  • December 1941
    • US Government invests $80 Million
  • 4 Multi-National Drug companies were told that the development of Penicillin was their top priority
  • Huge factories were set up to mass produce the fungus
  • 1943
    • Field Trials in North Africa
  • 1944
    • Enough to supply all the casualties on D-Day
  • The Germans relied on the inferior Sulphanomides for the duration of the war