Animals Research at UBC

Mice prove penicillin’s power

Mice prove penicillin's power

Images courtesy Understanding Animal Research /Wellcome Images.
Disclaimer: Images do not depict UBC research animals.

In 1940 researchers injected eight mice with a lethal dose of bacteria. Four were also given penicillin. The penicillin recipients survived.

After this remarkable result, researchers did further animal studies on the effects of penicillin, discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. By 1941 the drug was in wide use to treat soldiers in the Second World War. The research won the Nobel Prize in 1945.

Penicillin has revolutionized the treatment of bacterial infection, once a leading cause of death. The original simple animal test has led directly to saving literally millions of lives, both human and animal.

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