Developments in Anthelmintic Medication

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  • Zoological Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, Washington, D. C.

The subject of anthelmintic medication underwent a very slow evolution up to less than a half century ago, at which time there was a rather rapid acceleration in the way of developments, and events during the past ten years indicate that we are now entering a third stage in the development of this subject. The first stage covers centuries of uncritical empiricism, the second stage covers less than a half century of increasingly critical empiricism, and the third stage covers a decade of critical experimental investigation. In their early beginnings it is probable that anthelmintics were first given consideration centuries ago when savages noticed the passage of such large worms as ascarids (an observation especially certain to be made in such tribes as derive certain omens and other information from feces), and in the course of time began to associate the passage of the worms with certain foods and other substances previously eaten.