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March 19, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(12):986-989. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950290006002

For several decades an obvious but not completely understood relationship has been recognized between beta hemolytic streptococcic infections and rheumatic fever.1 This was well demonstrated with the advent of the sulfonamide drugs. It was found that when small daily doses of a sulfonamide were given to patients who had previously suffered attacks of rheumatic fever, repeated attacks of streptococcic sore throats were prevented and recurrences of rheumatic fever were rare.2 Numerous studies3 in attack rates of rheumatic fever in hospitals and clinics especially designed for the care of rheumatic children have shown the value of sulfonamides in this problem, so that it became almost a routine practice to give all children such prophylaxis after an attack of rheumatic fever, continuing this preventive measure through adolescence. More recent studies4 have shown that buffered penicillin in small daily oral doses is an equally effective prophylactic agent.

Although of