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To the Editor:—
In a communication in The Journal, April 9, Elizabeth S. Hemmens and G. M. Dack called attention to an ambiguity in our article on the mode of action of sulfanilamide in The Journal, January 29, page 349.We state in the summary: "The major action of sulfanilamide on the beta hemolytic streptococcus seems to be neutralization of the toxins." We used the word "neutralization" in its general sense of "to render inert the peculiar properties of" rather than in the chemical sense of "chemically combine with and destroy." We used the plural "toxins" to indicate that we were not referring solely to hemotoxin. It is evident from this communication and from letters which we have received that the word "neutralization" was poorly chosen and that we should have said: "The major action of sulfanilamide appears to be on the production of toxins or aggressins. We do not
Osgood EE, Brownlee IE. THE MODE OF ACTION OF SULFANILAMIDE. JAMA. 1938;110(21):1770. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790210050020