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February 3, 1945

Current Comment

JAMA. 1945;127(5):280. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860050028012

GRAMICIDIN S  The latest result of the search for antibacterial substances in fungi and other microbes appears to be the isolation by Russian investigators1 of a crystalline bactericidal polypeptide from the liquid culture of an aerobic sporulating soil bacillus of the Bacillus brevis type described by Stokes and Woodward.2 This strain was one of several hundred strains of sporulating bacilli from Russian soil studied with respect to antibacterial action but with otherwise negative results. The alcoholic extract of the acid precipitate of liquid cultures of the bacillus yields the active principle in easily obtained thin, colorless crystalline needles, alcoholic solution of which diluted with water has bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects on staphylococci, streptococci, pneumococci and some other gram positive bacteria as well as on a number of gram negative bacteria, including Proteus vulgaris and Escherichia coli. This antibacterial substance has been named Soviet gramicidin or gramicidin S. Chemically