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Article
July 1959

Kanamycin

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Departments of Medicine, Wadsworth Hospital, Veterans Administration Center, and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(1):15-28. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270070017003
Abstract

Kanamycin was first described by Umezawa et al. in 19571; it is produced by Streptomyces kanamyceticus.

Chemistry  The crystalline sulfate of kanamycin is water-soluble, alcohol-insoluble, and basic. It is a very stable compound with less than 10% loss after autoclaving for one hour at 120 C; it is stable over a pH range of 2 to 11. Cron and his co-workers2 have determined that kanamycin consists of two amino sugars linked glycosidally to 2-deoxystreptamine, with the structural formula shown in Figure 1. This structure resembles that of neomycin and has some similarity to streptomycin.Paper chromatography of kanamycin preparations reveals a second antibiotic, kanamycin B. Kanamycin B exhibited more toxicity than kanamycin A in animal studies 3 and is present to the extent of only 2% to 3% in later preparations of the drug.

Microbiological Studies 

1. Spectrum.  —In vitro, kanamycin is active against a variety of

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