A drug that kills bacteria is referred to as an antibiotic.
Many antibiotics have been developed since Ehrlich founded chemotherapy and Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928.
There is a growing problem, however, with the use of antibiotics. They have been overused.
Just as humans develop immunity to diseases, bacteria develop immunity to antibiotics.
Over the years, the bacteria cells have mutated, or changed into new forms that are resistant to antibiotics.
Some diseases, like tuberculosis and malaria, were once very easy to cure and had nearly disappeared.
Their infectious germs have now mutated into resistant forms, and cures are more difficult.
Antibiotic resistant microorganisms, sometimes referred to as “superbugs”, may contribute to the re-emergence of diseases which are currently under control.
This is why scientists need to keep developing new drugs to fight disease.