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May 1963

Demethylchlortetracycline in Nonbacterial Pneumonia

Author Affiliations


From US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 4 (NAMRU-4) and US Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Ill. Research Projects MR 005.12-1601 and MR 005.09-1203.8, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.; Formerly Chief, Epidemiology Division and Assistant Officer in Charge, NAMRU-4, present address: Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver (Dr. Maisel); Chief, Biometrics Division, NAMRU-4 (W. E. Pierce); formerly Chief, Immunology Division, NAMRU-4, presently Chief, Mycoplasma Research Division, NAMRU-4 (Y. E. Crawford); Staff Medical Officer, Department of Medicine, US Naval Hospital, present address: Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (Dr. Farmer).

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):547-556. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290013004

Introduction  Empirical antibiotic therapy of nonbacterial pneumonia was attempted sporadically after World War II, but the value of such treatment was long disputed. Summarizing the situation in 1952, Finland commented that the disparities noted between the results of various studies were probably due to variations in both the methods of controlling the clinical observations and the agents causing the illness. He predicted that tetracycline antibiotics would be shown of value in treating primary atypical pneumonia (PAP) due to the Eaton agent.1 The correctness of this opinion is now manifest. Although the syndrome of PAP had been associated with a number of viral infections, the majority of primary atypical pneumonia cases exhibiting the cold agglutinin phenomenon in the serum now may be attributed to the Eaton agent, and the entity, "Eaton agent pneumonia," has been established.2,4 Treatment of "recruit pneumonia" due to the Eaton agent with demethylchlortetracycline was of

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