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June 1943


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1943;29(6):888-903. doi:10.1001/archopht.1943.00880180038002

In the last few years new chemotherapeutic agents have made their appearance. These consist of the well known sulfonamide compounds, already proved valuable clinically, and lesser known substances derived from molds, fungi and bacilli, e. g. penicillin from penicillium, tyrothricin from soil bacteria and actinomycosin from actinomyces. The ophthalmologic literature contains practically no reference to the latter substances. Fleming1 stated that penicillin is approximately four times as potent as sulfathiazole (2-[paraaminobenzenesulfonamido]-thiazole), twenty times as potent as sulfapyridine (2-[paraaminobenzenesulfonamido]-pyridine) and one hundred times as potent as sulfanilamide. Penicillin has an important advantage over sulfanilamide in that it is far less toxic and is not inhibited by secretions, pus and large numbers of organisms. Tyrothricin consists of 15 per cent gramicidin and 85 per cent tyrocidin, both of which show marked bactericidal powers for gram-positive organisms. Gramicidin, about twenty-five to fifty times more potent than tyrocidin, is effective in amounts as

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