* The medicines that kill or stop the growth of the disease-causing microorganisms. Such medicines are called ANTIBIOTICS.
* A number of antibiotics are being produced from bacteria and fungi.
Streptomycin, tetracycline and erythromycin are some of the commonly known antibiotics which are made from fungi and bacteria.
* In 1929, Alexander Fleming found the spores of a little green mould [Penicillium notatum] in one of his culture plates.
He observed that the presence of mould prevented the growth of bacteria. In fact, it also killed many of these bacteria. From this the mould penicillin was prepared.
* Deadly diseases such as plague, whooping cough, diphtheria and leprosy, which used to kill millions all over the globe, are being treated with Antibiotics.
* Several diseases, including cholera, tuberculosis, smallpox and hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination.
* Edward Jenner discovered the vaccine for smallpox in 1798.
Yeast and Lipases
* Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is used for commercial production of ethanol.
* Lipases are used in detergent formulations and are helpful in removing oily stains from the laundry.
* Microbes are used for commercial and industrial production of certain chemicals like organic acids, alcohols and enzymes.
Examples of Acid producers are as follows –
* Acetobacter aceti (a bacterium) of acetic acid
* Aspergillus niger (a fungus) of citric acid
* Lactobacillus (a bacterium) of lactic acid.
* Clostridium butylicum (a bacterium) of butyric acid
* Streptokinase produced by the bacterium Streptococcus and modified by genetic engineering is used as a ‘clot buster’ for removing clots from the blood vessels of patients who have undergone myocardial infraction leading to heart attack.