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December 29, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(18):1263. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860520031010

Boor and Miller1 of the Kuppenheimer Foundation, University of Chicago, have recently demonstrated that penicillin has a synergic neutralizing action on certain endotoxins. Endotoxins were prepared from six strains of type I and one strain of type II meningococcus. The concentration of each preparation was so adjusted that 0.3 to 0.5 cc. injected intraperitoneally killed at least 4 of 5 mice within thirty hours. Among 179 untreated control mice thus injected 159 died within thirty hours, a mortality of 89 per cent. In comparison 74 mice were injected intraperitoneally with the same doses mixed with 1,000 or more units of penicillin. Of these 59 died within the prescribed time limit, a mortality nf 80 per cent. Boor concluded from these percentages that penicillin acting in vitro on meningococcus endotoxin does not reduce its toxicity to any significant degree. This conclusion accords with that previously reported by Neter and Will,