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June 1958

Comparison Study: Silver Nitrate and Oxytetracycline in Newborn Eyes: A Comparison of the Incidence of Conjunctivitis Following the Instillation of Silver Nitrate or Oxytetracycline into the Eyes of Newborn Infants

Author Affiliations

Providence, R.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(6):609-611. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050613003

Since the introduction of the Credé procedure for preventing ophthalmia neonatorum with silver nitrate, antibiotics have become available which are more effective than silver nitrate against both gonorrheal and other ocular infections common in the newborn infant.

The changing pattern of maternal infection since the advent of sulfonamides and penicillin has resulted in many localities in a reduction of gonorrheal infection with a relative increase in other pathogens. These changes are reflected in the kinds of ocular infections now seen in newborn infants. Staphylococcus species are now the commonest invaders, along with diphtheroid bacilli and coliform organisms, and at least two recent reports1,2 fail to mention gonococci among the pathogens detected.

Penicillin and other antibiotics1,3-5 have been shown to be adequate substitutes for silver nitrate, but the ability of penicillin to evoke sensitization reactions limits its value as a topical agent.6 In view of the diversity of

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