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June 1963

Staphylococci and Infection Immunity

Author Affiliations

Rockefeller Institute New York

Am J Dis Child. 1963;105(6):643-645. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080040645014

The history of our knowledge concerning staphylococci and staphylococcal diseases could be written as an essay on paradox. The Staphylococcus was one of the first human pathogens to be recognized and cultivated; many precise details are known concerning its cellular structure, its growth requirements, its chemical and biological activities; yet there is no agreement as to what makes it pathogenic. It can cause a great variety of pathological processes, affecting most organs; yet experimental infections in man and animals can be produced only by the use of laboratory artifices. It served as the test object for the discovery of penicillin; yet most staphylococcal infections are now resistant to treatment with this drug. It is becoming one of the most disturbing agents of bacterial disease, at a time when other bacterial diseases are decreasing in importance. A few decades ago, monographs after monographs were being written on each and every one