The Rise in Antibiotic Resistance

More than 70 years ago, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and set in motion a medical revolution. In 1943, penicillin was mass-produced and saved many wounded soldiers from death by bacterial infection. Yet even as we enjoy the benefits of antibiotics, their use promotes antibiotic resistance in bacteria. By confronting bacteria with antibiotics, we select for those that are resistant and change the course of their evolution. In fact, just three years after the first mass-production of penicillin, resistant bacteria began to appear. View the animation to learn more about the rise in antibiotic resistance.