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March 14, 1942


JAMA. 1942;118(11):917. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830110059023

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To the Editor:—  The January 31 issue of The Journal contains a clinical note, "Streptococcus Viridans Septicemia: A Cure with Sulfapyridine," by Drs. G. B. Moore Jr. and A. J. Tannenbaum of Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. The title is unfortunate, since it implies that infections produced by the usual etiologic agent in cases of subacute bacterial endocarditis can be controlled by sulfapyridine. As a matter of fact, little if any evidence has been presented concerning the effectiveness of the sulfonamides in cases of subacute bacterial endocarditis caused by Streptococcus viridans.The difficulty appears to arise from the classification of the streptococcus, since not all the streptococci that produce so-called alpha hemolysis on blood-agar plates are Streptococcus viridans. A true Streptococcus viridans produces a pinpoint colony that is surrounded by a narrow zone of greenish discoloration (alpha hemolysis), whereas by far the majority of alpha hemolytic streptococci have much larger colonies that

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