An elevation of temperature increases the intensity of chemical reactions. This has been demonstrated in vivo by the improved therapeutic results following the use of elevation of body temperature when sulfanilamide is employed to kill that relatively fragile bacterium the gonococcus.1 It has been demonstrated in vitro for the hemolytic streptococcus by White,2 who showed that the bacteriostatic power of sulfanilamide is about one hundred times greater at 39 C. than at 37.2 C.
We have had the opportunity of applying a combination of chemotherapy (sulfanilamide or sulfapyridine) and physically induced elevation of body temperature to cases of subacute bacterial endocarditis. Out of 16 patients each of whom received six or more bouts of temperature elevation in conjunction with medication, but 2 have made recoveries. In still another typical case the blood cultures which were consistently positive for Streptococcus viridans have been negative for the past four months.
BIERMAN W, BAEHR G. THE USE OF PHYSICALLY INDUCED PYREXIA AND CHEMOTHERAPY: IN THE TREATMENT OF SUBACUTE BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS. JAMA. 1941;116(4):292–294. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820040026009
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