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June 4, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(5):545. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020230071011

Studies in many parts of the world revealed several years ago that more than half the strains of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from hospitalized patients were resistant to penicillin, streptomycin, and the tetracyclines. This led to the fear that staphylococcic infections would become untreatable because of the development of resistance to each new antibiotic as it appeared. The relationship between use of various antibiotics and the amount of resistance that would develop was not known, and studies along this line have been awaited with interest.

In an article in this issue, Bauer and co-workers have reported definite differences in resistance of staphylococci to commonly used antibiotics in relation to the number of kilograms consumed per year in a general hospital. Particularly striking was the fact that a relatively small percentage of strains develop resistance to chloramphenicol, despite the consumption of large amounts of this antibiotic. Similar results have recently been reported

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