Neomycin, discovered by Waksman and Lechevalier1 in 1949, is an antibiotic which is produced by a strain of Streptomycetes closely related to Streptomyces fradiae. It is a basic compound, heat stable, and freely soluble in water. It does not lose its potency in watery solution or, indeed, in any type of vehicle, which is in striking contrast to many other antibiotics which are available for the topical treatment of cutaneous pyogenic infections.
The laboratory work of Waksman and Lechevalier1 and that of other investigators2 indicated that neomycin is bactericidal in vitro against an unusually wide variety of both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Furthermore, in their original article on neomycin, Waksman and Lechevalier1 reported that bacterial organisms did not appear to become resistant to the antibiotic, as often happens with streptomycin in particular.
Waisbren and Spink,3 Carr and Brown,4 Duncan and others,5 Wolgamot and
Clarence S. Livingood, Samchai Nilasena, William C. King, Rufus A. Stevenson, J. Fred Mullins. PYOGENIC INFECTIONS TREATED WITH NEOMYCIN. JAMA. 1952;148(5):334–339. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930050006002