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February 2, 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati.

JAMA. 1952;148(5):339-343. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930050011003

Neomycin, an antibiotic derived from Streptomyces fradiae, was discovered by Waksman and his co-workers in 1949.1 It differs chemically and biologically from streptomycin and streptothricin.2

Studies on the spectra of bacteria affected by neomycin reveal the drug to be bactericidal in vitro3 against a wide variety of gram-negative and gram-positive organisms,4 including some that are streptomycin-resistant. Resistance to neomycin develops in the same pattern as resistance to penicillin.5 Thus resistant strains are less apt to develop to neomycin than to streptomycin. There are indications, however, that resistance to neomycin may develop in Bacillus proteus, in B. pyocyaneus, and in some hemolytic streptococci.

Early in vivo studies showed neomycin to be relatively nontoxic.6 It may, however, cause kidney and eighth cranial nerve damage,7 particularly when kidney function is impaired. It is the purpose of this study to evaluate neomycin in dermatological therapy, observing its

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