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November 14, 1959

Antibiotics: Their Chemistry and Non-Medical Uses

JAMA. 1959;171(11):1622. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010290180033

The title of this book might be misleading to those not having had an opportunity to review it. Actually, anyone interested in antibiotics, whether their field is medical or nonmedical, should find it an excellent reference source. The first two chapters cover basic material on antibiotics, including antibacterial effects, mode of action, and chemistry. The next four chapters cover the use of these drugs in nutrition, in plant disease control, food preservation, and their use in the isolation of pure cultures. The final chapter discusses in detail the public health significance of the nonmedical uses of antibiotics. The organization of the book is good, and the clinician readily will note from the last chapter that the nonmedical uses of antibiotics really become medical problems, since such uses may result in antibiotic residues in foods, including meats, milk, fruits, and vegetables, that are consumed by man. Ingestion of antibiotic residues may

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