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January 1941


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;67(1):25-35. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200010035002

Invasion of the blood stream by staphylococci often is attended with serious consequences. In a recent review, Mendell1 collected from the literature 279 cases of staphylococcic septicemia and added 35 of his own. He found the mortality rate in these 314 cases to be 77 per cent. This high death rate approximates the experience of most physicians, and because of it there have been many attempts to combat this type of infection with various specific therapeutic agents. It is now generally recognized that the high mortality rate is due in part to potent exotoxins elaborated by certain strains of staphylococci, which are disseminated through the blood and tissues. According to several reports,2 it would appear that the prompt administration of specific staphylococcus antitoxin is an effective method for treating this toxemia. However, this form of serotherapy has certain limitations.

Some highly invasive strains of staphylococci produce little or