Penicillin should not be considered the only merit of A. Fleming; back in 1922, he made his first important discovery-isolated from human tissues a substance that has the ability to actively dissolve some types of microbes. The discovery was made almost by accident when trying to isolate bacteria-causative agents of the common cold. Professor A. Wright, under whose leadership A. Fleming continued his research work, called the new substance lysozyme (lysis-destruction of microorganisms).
However, it turned out that lysozyme is ineffective in the fight against the most dangerous pathogenic microbes, although it successfully destroys relatively less dangerous microorganisms. Thus, the use of lysozyme in medical practice had not very broad prospects. This prompted A. Fleming to further search for effective and at the same time harmless to humans antibacterial drugs. I must say that as early as 1908, he conducted experiments with a drug called “salvarsan”, which the laboratory of Professor A. Wright received for comprehensive research among the first in Europe. This drug was created by a talented German scientist P. Ehrlich (Nobel prize together With I. I. Mechnikov, 1908).
He was looking for a drug that kills pathogens, but is safe for the patient, the so-called magic bullet. Salvarsan was quite effective drugs antisyphyllitic means provided on the body side effects of toxins. These were only the first small steps towards the development of modern antimicrobial and chemotherapy drugs. It is known that in the XV–XVI centuries. in folk medicine for the treatment of festering wounds used green mold. For example, Alena Arzamas, Stepan Razin’s associate, the Russian Joan of Arc, was able to treat her. Attempts to impose mold directly on the wound surface gave, oddly enough, good results. Based on the doctrine of antibiosis (suppression of some microorganisms by others), the foundations of which were laid by L. Pasteur and our great compatriot I. I. Mechnikov, A. Fleming in 1929. found that the therapeutic effect of green mold due to a special substance released into the environment.