Penicillin antibiotic crystals, LM

Penicillin antibiotic crystals, LM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph (LM) of Penicillin crystals. Penicillin is the first antibiotic developed from Penicillium, spp. mould, a soil-inhabiting fungus, which has anti-microbial properties against a number of bacteria. Penicillin is a beta-lactam antibiotic used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by usually Gram-positive, organisms. Penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics work by inhibiting the formation of peptidoglycan cross links in the bacterial cell wall. The beta-lactam of penicillin binds to the enzyme that links the peptidoglycan molecules in bacteria and prevents the bacteria from dividing. The name penicillin can either refer to several variants of penicillin available, or to the group of antibiotics derived from the penicillins. Penicillin was originally isolated from the Penicillium chrysogenum (formerly known as Penicillium notatum). Magnification: x80 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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