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March 1946


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1946;53(3):291. doi:10.1001/archderm.1946.01510320081016

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To the Editor:—Dr. Harold E. Anderson published a paper (Tyrothricin in Cutaneous Infections, Arch. Dermat. & Syph.53:20 [Jan.] 1946) containing serious technical mistakes which have led him to erroneous deductions. In addition, he makes assumptions which are not justifiable. The method he used in testing the activity of tyrothricin in the ointment bases was ill chosen. His results only confirm the well known fact that tyrothricin is insoluble in isotonic solution of sodium chloride and do not show that tyrothricin is inactivated by the ointments. Substances of macroscopic size, which are completely insoluble in water, simply do not diffuse through agar. If Dr. Anderson had used any of the following applicable methods with the cetyl alcohol formula, he would have found full activity of the tyrothricin: (1) microscopic checking of growth or viable counts of susceptible organisms inoculated into serial dilutions of the tyrothricin ointment in

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