Until the discovery of sulfanilamide and its derivatives chemotherapy had little of proved value to offer in the treatment of staphylococcic infections. It is true that recoveries from staphylococcic septicemia in human beings have been ascribed to the intravenous administration of gentian violet, neutral acriflavine and various mercurial and other compounds, but none of these substances has materially reduced its high mortality and none has proved of value in the treatment of experimental infections of mice and rabbits under well controlled conditions.
Domagk1 found the original prontosil (the hydrochloride of 4-sulfamido-2′-4′-diaminoazobenzene) somewhat effective in the treatment of experimental staphylococcic infections of mice and later reported2 that better results were observed with uliron (a brand of dimethyldisulfanilamide; paraaminobenzenesulfonylparaaminobenzenedimethylsulfonamide). As shown in table 1, various investigators have found sulfanilamide, sulfapyridine (2- [paraaminobenzenesulfonamido]-pyridine) and, more recently, thiazole derivatives of sulfanilamide effective in varying degrees in the treatment of these experimental infections.
KOLMER JA, BROWN H. CHEMOTHERAPY AND CHEMOSEROTHERAPY OF STAPHYLOCOCCIC INFECTIONS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;69(4):636-646. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200160087007