Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rohde, Charles J., Jr., 1918-2007

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Antibiotics; Erythrocin


The history of antibiotics first become important when bacteriologists discovered that molds inhibit the growth of bacteria. The mold produces the antibiotic which is refined into the chemotherapeutic agent. These agents are sometimes falsely referred to as "wonder drugs." One antibiotic may inhibit the growth or kill many pathogenic bacteria. However, there may be other pathogens not affected by it. Antibiotics are specific in effectiveness and are thus not a panacea. In 1929, Sir Alexander Fleming, the English bacteriolo­gist, discovered the antibiotic penicillin from the blue-green mold Penicillium notatum Westling, 1911. He was studying a culture of the pathogenic organism Staphylococcus aureus Cohn, 1872. A mold spore fell into the culture dish and developed into a rich mold culture which caused the bacteria to disappear around the mold. Fleming noted this bacterial inhibition caused by the mold exudate. Wakman discovered the antibiotic Streptomycin in 1944. This antibiotic, however, does not come from a true mold but from a mold-like, soil-dwelling, bacterial organism called Actinomyces griseus Krainsky, 1914. Drs. B. M. Duggar (Figure 1) and C. W. Hesseltine discovered Aureomycin. This antibiotic is produced by the mold Streptomyces aureofaciens Cohn, 1872. The antibiotic was named Aureomycin for its red-gold color.1 Dr. Paul Burkholder discovered Chloromycetin in a soil sample from Caracas, Venezuela. Another soil sample pro­duced Terramycin, which was discovered by Dr. A. C. Finlay, from the mold Streptomyces rimosus Finlay, 1950.2 Many antibiotic substances have been isolated, but one of the latest and most important to the medical profession is Erythrocin. This antibiotic spare intestinal flora. It was first obtained from the mold Streptomyces erythreus McGuire, 1952. The purpose here is to give a general review of this antibiotic and to include laboratory findings of its effects against well-known species of bacteria. 1. Boris Sokoloff, The Miracle Drugs. (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1949). p. 220. 2 Ibid., pp. 226-228.


Includes bibliographical references (leaf 47)


47 pages




Northern Illinois University

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