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December 22, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(17):1160-1161. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860510026007

For a long time attempts have been made to find a chemotherapeutic agent of value in rickettsial diseases, and recently such a substance apparently has been found in para-aminobenzoic acid. Snyder, Maier and Anderson1 were the first to show that the oral administration of this compound would effectively reduce the mortality from experimental murine typhus in white mice, while Hamilton, Plotz and Smadel2 found that para-aminobenzoic acid would inhibit the growth of both epidemic and murine typhus rickettsias in the developing hen's egg, thereby prolonging the survival time of infected chick embryos. These observations were independently confirmed by Greiff, Pinkerton and Moragues,3 who studied the effects of para-aminobenzoic acid on infections with murine typhus rickettsias in both eggs and mice. The work of all these investigators indicated that para-aminobenzoic acid did not exercise a direct lethal action on the rickettsias but interfered in some way with their

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