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March 1955

Origin of Erythromycin-Resistant Strains of Micrococcus Pyogenes in Infections: Bacteriophage Types and In Vitro Resistance of Cultures to Antibiotics

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School; Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Bacteriology, University of Minnesota Hospitals (Dr. Wise); Medical Fellow, Minneapolis General Hospital (Dr. Voigt); Research Assistant, Department of Medicine, Minneapolis General Hospital (Miss Collin); Junior Scientist, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Hospitals (Mrs. Cranny).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(3):419-426. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250090057008

Since the introduction of erythromycin in 1952 by McGuire and co-workers 1 and the first reports of its clinical application,* there has been increasing use of this antibiotic in the treatment of infectious diseases. It has been particularly effective in the treatment of infections caused by staphylococci which are resistant to penicillin and to other antibiotics.† Few strains of staphylococci isolated from infections shortly after the introduction of this antibiotic were found to be resistant to erythromycin in concentrations too great for clinical use.‡ According to Haight and Finland,9 in 1952 all of 640 strains of staphylococci were sensitive to erythromycin in concentrations of 1.56γ/ml.; 96% were inhibited by 0.2 to 0.8γ/ml., and 87% were sensitive to 0.4γ/ml.

Increased resistance to erythromycin occurs in vitro when strains of staphylococci are cultivated in increasing concentrations of erythromycin.§ Erythromycin-resistant strains of staphylococci have been found in the nasopharynges of hospital personnel

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