[Skip to Navigation]
November 1962

Effect of Prophylactic Penicillin on Staphylococci

Author Affiliations


Chief, Bacteriology Division (Mr. Frank), and Officer in Charge (Dr. Miller), NAMRU-4.; From Naval Medical Research Unit No. 4, Research Project MR 005.09-1400.1. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(5):596-605. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620230042008

Mass administration of penicillin to control streptococcal diseases and their sequelae was first used 10 years ago in the Armed Forces.1 This practice has been employed with reservation because of the possible development of penicillin-resistant streptococci or the possible emergence and subsequent seeding of populations with penicillin-resistant staphylococci. No confirmed cases of penicillin-resistant Group A streptococci have even been isolated in the 20 years that penicillin has been used as a therapeutic agent, and the likelihood of the appearance of such strains is considered highly improbable. However, the threat of the emergence of penicillin-resistant staphylococci must be considered more seriously in view of staphylococcal epidemics which have been reported in hospital populations in which penicillin had been given extensively.2

No concerted effort has been made to observe the effect of large-scale penicillin administration on penicillin sensitivity of staphylococci in large populations. An opportunity to undertake such an investigation