Progress in the Treatment of Trachoma with Chloromycetin (Chloramphenicol)

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The introduction of sulfonamides in the treatment of trachoma (granular conjunctivitis) has resulted in bringing about an amelioration of the disease (1, 2, 3). In general, the treatment consists of the systemic use of the drug rather than local application to the eyes, the course of therapy lasting from ten days to two weeks, allowing a rest period, and then repeating the process once again. Improvement may be dramatic or gradual or, in some cases, requiring several months before the effects are noticeable. These studies have been confirmed experimentally in baboons infected with trachoma (4). Under carefully controlled conditions the sulfonamides have been generally successful for the treatment of this disease. The precise mechanism of how these agents act, whether as a structural analog of para-amino benzoic acid, and substituting for this necessary bacterial vitamin, is unknown with respect to trachoma. It must also be further noted that trachoma is a protean disease varying in its manifestation and degree of infectiousness.

Author Notes

Chief Internal Medicine, Navajo Medical Center, Fort Defiance, Arizona.

From the Department of Clinical Investigation, Parke, Davis and Company, Detroit, Michigan.

Ophthalmologist, Consultant to the Navajo Medical Center, Fort Defiance and Gallup, New Mexico.