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September 23, 1974

Antibiotic-Supplemented Feeds

Author Affiliations

Boston City Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1974;229(13):1723-1724. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230510015010

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To the Editor.—  Drs. Rapoport and Calia (229:1212, 1974) are certainly correct in stating that "the limited experience at the Boston City Hospital does not establish the conclusion that antibiotic-supplemented feeds have no environmental impact." No such claim or inference was made or intended. However, exception can be taken to the statement that "data collected from a general hospital treating acute cases might not reflect a changing incidence of such infections" (referring to salmonellosis and shigellosis). The data presented in Table 3 of our article (229:1183, 1974) show considerable fluctuations in the frequency with which such infections were diagnosed in this hospital, and, more likely than not, they do reflect at least to some degree changes in the incidence of such infections in the community from which these patients are drawn. These data would seem to warrant the more limited conclusion that they do not support the contention that the