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October 1955

Antibiotic Specificity in Ear, Nose, and Throat Infections

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, New York Regional Office, Veterans Administration.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;62(4):384-389. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.03830040038006

Since the introduction by Duggar of chlortetracycline (Aureomycin) in 1948 and the subsequent search for and discovery of other antibiotics, an enormous amount of work has been done by clinicians and bacteriologists on antibiotic specificity. Selection of a suitable antibiotic in treating infections of the ears and sinuses during World War II was simple. Near the front lines only the sulfonamides were available for use. The sulfonamides were widely used locally and systemically, with good results. In the nine years following the war, approximately 45,000 veterans were seen at the ENT Clinic of the New York Regional Office of the Veterans Administration. Most of the chronic infections encountered at this time proved to be resistant to the sulfonamides and to penicillin.

It became imperative to study the bacterial flora in the veteran population and find what antibiotic to use in each individual case. The patients studied were veterans of the

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