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Original Contributions
August 24, 1964

Penicilloyl-Polylysine as an Intradermal Test of Penicillin Sensitivity

Author Affiliations


Dr. Brown is assistant to the chief of the branch; Mrs. Price is statistician, and Dr. Moore is director of the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory, Venereal Disease Branch, Communicable Disease Center.

JAMA. 1964;189(8):599-604. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070080005001

Penicilloyl-polylysine was used in an intradermal skin test for the detection of penicillin hypersensitivity in 16,239 patients. In 1,003 patients with history of penicillin sensitivity, 396 had a positive skin test compared to a positive test in 775 of 12,559 patients with a negative history. Penicillin was administered to 13,530 patients with a negative skin test, of whom 63 had a reaction. Of 212 patients with a moderately positive and 206 with a strongly positive skin test who were given penicillin, 9 and 21 respectively experienced reactions. No anaphylaxis or life-threatening reactions occurred in patients with negative skin tests, although on the basis of previous experience this number of cases should have produced four reactions severe enough to require hospitalization.