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July 1, 1950


JAMA. 1950;143(9):816. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910440034014

Clinicians1 report that combined therapy with penicillin and streptomycin is often successful in patients with enterococcic endocarditis. Such patients usually fail to respond to either drug when given alone, even in high doses over long periods of time. Studies of the combined in vitro action of these two antibiotics against enterococci were therefore undertaken by Jawetz2 and his associates of the Division of Bacteriology, University of California. Using nine strains of enterococci recently isolated from clinical cases, they tested the bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of penicillin, streptomycin and chloramphenicol when used separately or in combination.

One typical strain was originally isolated from the blood stream of a patient with subacute bacterial endocarditis. This patient was subsequently cured by combined penicillin-streptomycin therapy. In a control test with no drug present in the enterococci culture, the population increased nearly a hundredfold during the first seven hours. The population was maintained