Tuesday, September 16, 2014

the NON-TOXIC mold - ten billion served since Oct 16 1940 : the story of natural penicillin ... and how we almost lost it

Every time we hear about a building closing its doors because of toxic mold , let us always remind ourselves that for every door that closes sometimes a thousand or a million , nay billions upon billions,  open in its place.

Yes ,some strains of some mold species , under highly specific environmental conditions,  are somewhat toxic (even highly toxic to immune weak individuals).

But other molds - such as the mold that produces the original natural penicillin - are resoundingly non-toxic and continue to be the biological base from which almost all of today's best anti-bacterial agents are still made.

Thanks to the herd-immunity-like effect that happened when public domain natural penicillin became ultra cheap and globally available , I estimate ten billion of us have lead healthier happier lives since Henry Dawson gave the first antibiotics injection on October 16th 1940.

Cheap ,widely available penicillin allowed even poor nations to reduce the incidence of endemic pools of pathogenic strains of common virulent bacteria among their poor and the rurally isolated.

These national pools of poverty, isolation and infectious diseases had kept these diseases globally endemic for thousands of years .

For example, a short twenty years after penicillin's introduction, Rheumatic Fever (until 1960 the leading cause of school age death due to infection) quickly became something that younger doctors only read about in a medical history book - but never themselves saw in their entire careers.

So loudly curse the toxic molds - but spare a moment to silently thank the Non-Toxic mold - saving lives for seventy five wonderful years as of next October 16th 2015 .

Because as once famous advertising firm Ayer's reminds us, we almost lost natural penicillin - thanks to the best of Allied science - it almost got away....

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