As I was writing yesterday’s comments on antibiotics, I referred to a recent World Health Organization report on antibiotic resistance. This report is a major publication intended for a worldwide audience, and it has gotten international media attention. Accompanying it is a two-page infographic to summarize the important findings of the report. Illustrating the infographic is the chemical structure of a penicillin. Or, at least, if it is supposed to a penicillin, the chemical structure is wrong. It looks like it is intended to be penicillin G (benzylpenicillin). However, the beta lactam portion is missing an oxygen atom, the two methyl groups on the right side are missing, and the “PhCh2” should be “PhCH2“.
So… a little unsolicited advice for the WHO: If you are going to prepare an infographic containing a chemical structure for the whole world to see, please have a chemist review it first. Thank you.