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September 1963

Alanine: Cycloserine Antagonism: II. Significance of Phenomenon to Therapy With Cycloserine

Author Affiliations


Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine.; From the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine and the Salt Lake County General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(3):405-414. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860030159019

In 1954, cycloserine (Oxamycin, D-4--amino-3-isoxazolidinone) was discovered in three laboratories in the United States to be a fermentation product of three species of Streptomyces.1-3 A flurry of reports followed, indicating cycloserine was of good effect in the treatment of a wide variety of non-acid-fast4-14 as well as acid-fast15-18 microbial infections. However, there has been little recent interest in the application of cycloserine to the treatment of infections caused by non-acid-fast microorganisms in this country—in contrast with interest abroad.8,9,12-14

Lack of establishment of cycloserine as an antibiotic useful in treating other than mycobacterial infections relates to at least two factors: (1) by conventional in vitro susceptibility testing, non-acid-fast bacteria generally appear to be resistant to cycloserine; (2) as employed in tuberculotherapy, untoward reactions occur rather frequently.

By simultaneous testing of 293 clinical isolates of bacteria representative of 11 bacterial groups, using two synthetic media which differed only