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July 28, 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Obstetric Service of Herman Kiefer Hospital (Dr. Stevenson) and of Grace Hospital, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne University College of Medicine (Dr. Stevenson), and the Research Laboratories of Parke, Davis & Company (Dr. Glazko).

JAMA. 1951;146(13):1190-1192. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670130012005

Typhoid, in recent years, has been a rare but nevertheless serious complication of pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion or premature labor has occurred in 60 to 80% of such cases. Fetal death in utero is common and has, in some cases, been demonstrated to be due to transmission of the typhoid bacilli from the mother to the fetus.1 When the disease has been present in the mother for a few weeks, approximately one-half of the fetuses have become so infected. Maternal mortality has been about 15%, while about three-quarters of the fetuses and infants generally have been lost.

In view of the recent reports of the successful treatment of typhoid with chloramphenicol2 and the fact that we might sometime expect to treat a pregnant woman who had typhoid fever, we undertook to study the transmission of chloramphenicol from the maternal blood to the fetus.

We wished to determine whether chloramphenicol penetrates the