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December 1961

Environmental Antimicrobiosis in a Nursery: Qualified Success in Use of 2,6-Dimethoxyphenyl Penicillin During a Staphylococcal Outbreak

Author Affiliations

James M. Sutherland, M.D., Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Elland and Bethesda, Cincinnati, Ohio.; From the Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Health, University of Cincinnati, Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and the Central Bacteriology Laboratory, Cincinnati General Hospital, City of Cincinnati Phage Laboratory associated with the Division of Communicable Diseases of the Ohio Department of Health, and the Children's Hospital Research Foundation.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;102(6):793-806. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.02080010795003

Environmental antimicrobiosis in the control of hospital cross-infections has frequently been considered and occasionally tried. It was of equivocal, value until Elek and Fleming1 reported their use of 2-6-dimethoxyphenol penicillin (BRL 1241; 2,6-DIMOP penicillin).* They thought the nose was the main site of staphylococcal multiplication and the reservoir of hospital-acquired staphylococci. They reasoned that the cycle of hospital staphylococcal spread in a nursery population could be interrupted by preventing the nasal multiplication of staphylococci. They therefore sprayed 2,6-DIMOP penicillin into the nursery air: colonization of the newborn infants by pyogenic staphylococci was largely prevented.

A biologically active derivative of 6-amino-penicillanic acid, 2,6-DIMOP penicillin is "staphylococcal resistant," i.e., resistant to staphylococcal penicillinase. Only rare strains of pathogenic staphylococci have been described which are resistant to 2,6-DIMOP penicillin. In vitro resistant staphylococci have been developed only with difficulty and are of questionable clinical significance (see below).

A nursery outbreak of

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