SOON after penicillin was introduced to the members of the medical profession, various authors pointed out that precautionary measures should be taken to prevent destruction of its antibacterial properties through actinic, thermal and chemical destruction.
Fleming,1 in his original paper in 1929, reported that boiling for an hour reduced the potency of penicillin and that autoclaving at 115 C. for twenty minutes completely destroyed it. Abraham and Chain,2 in 1942, reported that aqueous solutions of the barium salt of penicillin were found to retain their activity at 2 C. for several months, at 25 C. for several weeks and at 37 C. for twenty-four hours. These solutions were also reported to be stable to atmospheric oxygen at pH values from 5 to 7 but were early oxidized by a number of oxidizing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate. Subsequently, Kirby,3 has reported that
PELCZAR MJ, BAREFOOT SW. ANTIBACTERIAL POTENCY OF PENICILLIN SODIUM TO BETA HEMOLYTIC STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS: (In Water-Soluble Bases and Glycerinated Aqueous Solution Under Varied Storage Conditions). Arch Derm Syphilol. 1946;54(6):704–710. doi:10.1001/archderm.1946.01510410070007
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