80th anniversary of penicillin celebrated

fleming[1]By Meghan Brown

The 80th anniversary of penicillin being discovered, is being celebrated today in Alexander Fleming’s birth place of Darvel, East Ayrshire.

Des Browne, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudon, has organised the event to commemorate Fleming’s medical work and his discovery, which has led to millions of lives being saved.

Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881- 11 March 1955) was a Scottish medic and bacteriologist who, by accident, discovered the antibiotic substance penicillin.

Fleming’s discovery came after he found mould on a number of samples he had been working on and noticed that no bacteria grew anywhere near the mould.

This mould was later identified as penicillium notatum, which was soon manufactured as a cure for infectious diseases such as tonsilitus, which commonly led to death before penicillin’s discovery.

Leading microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington is giving a memorial lecture today to an audience of secondary school students from East Ayrshire. Local residents will also be attending.

Following the lecture there will be an exhibition of stalls held by a number of organisations including theFleming Museum, the Society for General Microbiology and Lochfield Farm, Alexander Fleming’s birthplace.

Mr Browne said: “I am looking forward to being able to celebrate Fleming’s world changing achievement in our local community where he was born. 

“In the presence of such an eminent present day bacteriologist there is no way that this Friday the 13th will be unlucky.”