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July 1956

Clinical and Laboratory Studies of Novobiocin, a New Antibiotic

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, and the King County Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(1):1-7. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250250007001

Novobiocin is a new antibiotic isolated independently by three different groups of workers.1 The names given to this antibiotic, and the companies under whose supervision it was discovered, are as follows: Cathomycin (Merck); streptonivicin (Albamycin) (Upjohn); and Cardelmycin (Pfizer). Preliminary in vitro studies have shown that the antibiotic is active against the commonly encountered Gram-positive bacteria and also against certain Gram-negatives.2 Of particular importance is the fact that staphylococci resistant to other antibiotics are highly susceptible to Novobiocin. Experimental infections in animals have also indicated a high degree of activity with little toxicity.3 Laboratory studies and a clinical trial in 75 patients comprise the present report.*


Sensitivity Tests.  —Concentrations of novobiocin causing inhibition of growth of streptococci and pneumococci were determined in tryptose phosphate broth containing 3% human blood; 0.5 ml. amounts of a 10-4 dilution of an overnight culture were added to equal amounts