New antibacterial agents have appeared so fast in the last 20 years that it has been difficult for the average practitioner to keep abreast of developments and to avoid confusion. One of the most troublesome problems is the prophylactic use of such agents. Weinstein1 has sorted out the indications for such use, the commonest of which is the protection of healthy persons or groups from a specific infection to which they have been exposed or are in danger of being exposed. This has been most successful against beta-hemolytic streptococci and Neisseria gonorrhoeae for which penicillin is best, Neisseria meningitidis for which either penicillin or sulfadiazine is best, and Shigella dysenteriae for which sulfadiazine is best. If the drug of choice is contraindicated or the causative organisms are resistant to it, one of the tetracycline group should be used. Chemoprophylaxis has also been used to prevent secondary infection in a
MODERN ANTIBACTERIAL AGENTS. JAMA. 1955;159(15):1458–1459. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960320034011
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