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March 1959

Long-Term Treatment of Bronchiectasis and Chronic Bronchitis: A Controlled Study of the Effects of Tetracycline, Penicillin, and an Oleandomycin-Penicillin Mixture

Author Affiliations


From the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospitals and the Departments of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(3):345-353. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270030001001

Several antibiotics are effective in the treatment of acute bacterial infections of the lower respiratory tract in patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. However, studies designed to test the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating the low-grade, continuing infection in patients with these diseases and in preventing acute infections of the lower respiratory tract in these patients have had contradictory results.

Penicillin was used extensively both systemically and by aerosol in the years immediately following its introduction. Comprehensive reports have been made by Barach and his associates 1 and by Finke.2 Penicillin was never successful in eradicating Hemophilus influenzae, which Mulder and his associates 3 and others 4,5 believe to be the most important pathogenic agent in bronchiectasis and chronic bronchitis, and in recent years the increasing prevalence of penicillin-resistant staphylococci have further limited the effectiveness of penicillin.

Mulder and his associates3 reported excellent results in chronic bronchitis when