Antibiotics Annual 1958–1959

by Henry Welch, Ph.D. and Felix Marti-Ibanez, M.D., editors. 1107 pages, illustrated. New York, Medical Encyclopedia, Inc., 1959. $12.00

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This volume contains the Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Symposium on Antibiotics held in the Fall of the year in Washington, D. C. It is, in 1,100 pages, a repository of much information about antibiotics, some new, some old, some of high quality and much of it pedestrian. There are papers on sulfonamides, nitrofurans, quaternary compounds, salicylic derivatives, oleandomycin, triacetyloleandomycin, penicillin G, penicillin V, spiramycin, tetracycline, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, leucomycin, erythromycin, propionyl erythromycin, novobiocin, ristocetin, kanamycin, vancomycin, amphotericin B, and others. There is a series of papers on antitumor antibiotics.

Because of the size and scope of the Symposium itself, it has been difficult over the years to separate wheat from chaff. We find such hard-to-excuse papers as one which deals with sensitivity studies of antibiotics but does not define sensitivity and resistance as conceived by the author, a provocative study of the treatment of the common cold by “two tablets” without a statement as to the size of the tablets, and similar careless presentation of material.

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