Drugs That Changed Society: History and Current Status of the Early Antibiotics: Salvarsan, Sulfonamides, and β-Lactams

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The appearance of antibiotic drugs revolutionized the possibilities for treatment of diseases with high mortality such as pneumonia, sepsis, plaque, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis. Today fewer than 1% of mortalities in high income countries are caused by diseases caused by bacteria. However, it should be recalled that the antibiotics were introduced in parallel with sanitation including sewerage, piped drinking water, high standard of living and improved understanding of the connection between food and health. Development of salvarsan, sulfonamides, and β-lactams into efficient drugs is described. The effects on life expectancy and life quality of these new drugs are indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6057
Issue number19
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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