While the treponemicidal properties of erythromycin were first described in 1953 by Keller and Morton,1 it is only recently that adequate clinical information has become available. Keller and Morton, as well as Turner and Schaeffer,2 were able to demonstrate Treponema pallidum more susceptible to the action of erythromycin than other antibiotics with the exception of penicillin. Later, Kolmer3 reported similar treponemicidal properties to erythromycin but obtained superior results with several other antibiotics. In 1954 Alexander and Schoch4 treated 4 patients with syphilitic lesions with erythromycin and observed rapid disappearance of Treponema pallidum from the lesions. In 1956 Montero5 presented 27 patients with early syphilis treated with a total of 9 to 12 gm. of erythromycin with satisfactory results. In 1959 Montgomery and Knox6 reported on 40 darkfield-positive cases of early syphilis treated with 9 to 10 gm. of erythromycin stearate over a period of
MONTGOMERY CH, KNOX JM, SCIPLE GW, VANDER STOEP EM. Erythromycin in Treatment of Early Syphilis. Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):732–735. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050098010
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