Howard Florey, Alexander Fleming and the Fairy Tale of Penicillin

Peter D Goldsworthy and Alexander C McFarlane
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04349.x
Published online: 18 February 2002

The Story of Penicillin that we were taught as children was a simple story of how Alexander Fleming searched in vain for antibacterial agents until Penicillium mould spores drifted through his open laboratory window onto a plate of bacteria and killed them. Realising immediately the potential, he spent many years fighting against a resistant medical establishment and then guided Howard Florey and Ernst Chain to refine and test his great discovery.

  • Peter D Goldsworthy1
  • Alexander C McFarlane2

  • 1 Private practice, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, Adelaide University, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South, SA.


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