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December 5, 1953


Author Affiliations

Galveston, Texas
From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Texas School of Medicine. The study was aided in part by a grant from the Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Mich.; Dr. Livingood is now Physician-in-Charge, Division of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit 2.

JAMA. 1953;153(14):1266-1270. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940310034008

Erythromycin, discovered by McGuire and his associates1 in 1952, is a new antibiotic produced by a micro-organism (identified as a strain of Streptomyces erythreus that was isolated from a soil sample collected on the Island of Panay, Philippine Islands. This antibiotic is white, crystalline, soluble in water to the extent of about 2 mg. per milliliter, and highly soluble in some organic solvents, such as alcohol and acetone. It is a basic compound with an empiric formula that is thought to approximate C39H73NO13; there is no benzene ring structure in the formula. Stability data indicate that the dry crystalline compound is stable at room temperature for at least a year, but solutions of the antibiotic are comparatively unstable. The best stability is achieved with low temperature and neutral pH. At room temperature with a pH of 7, 86% activity remained after a storage period

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