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May 6, 1961

Antibiotics and Growth

Author Affiliations

100 Mt. Vernon Rd. Newark, Ohio

JAMA. 1961;176(5):465. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040180067021

To the Editor:—  In The Journal, Jan. 21, page 266, "M.D., Missouri," asked about the methods by which antibiotics stimulate growth in young animals and also if these effects have been known in human usage. The reply by John R. Lewis, Ph.D., is incomplete.While the exact mode by which antibiotics stimulate growth in young animals is not clearly understood, there is evidence that this action is not entirely a result of changes in bacterial flora or of the bactericidal and bacteria-static actions of the antibiotics. As pointed out in my paper on the use of antibiotics for the treatment of acne (Ohio State Med J, April, 1959), the amounts used for supplemental feeding to animals and poultry are minute as compared to the usual dosages considered necessary for therapy in human or animal infectious diseases, and most likely would not be effective in active disease. The amounts used in

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