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December 13, 1941

The Conquest of Bacteria from 606 to 693

JAMA. 1941;117(24):2109-2110. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820500091046

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This is a record of the historical development of the measures by which the conquest of bacteria has thus far been achieved. Intended for the layman, it is to be commended for its scientific soundness and interesting style. It achieves its purpose without resort to melodramatic distortions. Since the volume was written in England by an Englishman during the present war, American contributions to modern chemotherapy have been almost entirely ignored. But an otherwise excellent account of sulfanilamide and sulfapyridine does not even refer to the work of Perrin H. Long or of any other American investigator. The author also creates the impression that the new chemotherapy was not warmly welcomed in America because of the "elixir of sulfanilamide" incident, which was certainly not the case. With respect to sulfapyridine in pneumonia, the author expresses the pious hope (in 1940) "that the new treatment will completely establish itself within a

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