January 2, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(1):98. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940350100041

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This rather extraordinary volume covers the whole field of the antibiotics. Experimental work, the practical problems of production, the clinical use, and the philosophical implications of the advent of antibiotics are discussed. The presentation is somewhat marred by the use of technical jargon, as for example, "to biosynthesize" and "renal-ligated." Some inaccuracies are found primarily in the pages that deal with the clinical usage of the antibiotics. For example, it is stated that "the virtual lack of toxicity of penicillin... makes this antibiotic the drug of choice" in certain infections. It is hard to reconcile this statement with the known and increasing frequency of reactions to penicillin. The discussion of the use of priming doses of antibiotics is not in line with current thought. The lack of recognition of the rapid increase in the resistance of many micro-organisms to the antibacterial effects of streptomycin is surprising. These examples and others

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