March 1947


Author Affiliations

From the laboratories of the United States Naval Medical Research Unit no. 2, Guam.; Dr. Brooke now holds the position of resident surgeon, University of Utah Medical School, Salt Lake City.

Arch Surg. 1947;54(3):305-315. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1947.01230070311005

THE HISTORY of streptomycin is a story of a planned search for an antibiotic agent capable of bactericidal and bacteriostatic action on gram-negative bacteria, a substance capable of action in the animal body as well as the test tube, with low toxicity and high resistance to inactivation by circulating body fluids and exudates from wounds. In view of the remarkable success obtained, it is natural that streptomycin be given exhaustive and repeated laboratory and clinical trial against the mixed infections seen so frequently in the surgical field.

This study was designed to coordinate the bacteriologic findings in the laboratory with clinical evaluation and tests on a group of burns, ulcers and infected wounds caused by a mixture of bacteria, predominantly gram-negative. Of great importance is the fact that almost all the cultures of material from wounds were made on material from infections clinically resistant to penicillin and sulfonamide drug therapy.

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