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January 1962

β-Hemolytic Streptococci in Tonsillar Tissue: The Efficacy of Penicillin

Author Affiliations

Milton S. Saslow, M.D., National Children's Cardiac Hospital, 4250 Flagler St. (44).

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(1):19-26. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020023004

Recent reports1,2 that β-hemolytic streptococci have been recovered from cultures of throats of subjects who are receiving antibiotic therapy as prophylaxis against recurrent rheumatic fever, led us to consider the possibility that such organisms may remain in some location where the antibiotics are unable to exert their bactericidal effects. Observations among patients of the National Children's Cardiac Hospital indicated that these unaffected streptococci might be recoverable from the tonsillar tissues. Because of the histological structure of tonsils, organisms might remain within deep crypts, secure from contact with, and hence action of, antibiotics. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis.

Materials and Methods  Materials.—Between 1957 and 1959, children who were scheduled for tonsillectomy constituted the source of material for study. These children, up to 16 years of age, were recruited through the efforts of several otolaryngologists and general practitioners, who notified us of their surgical schedules for