Research Article| Volume 63, ISSUE 1, P14-22, January 1964

Demonstration of penicillin inhibition by pharyngeal microflora in patients treated for streptococcal pharyngitis

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      The ability of pharyngeal microorganisms to inhibit the action of penicillin on group A streptococci in vitro has been measured. By this method, inhibition of penicillin action upon sensitive group A streptococci was demonstrated by microbial end products in 15 per cent of patients with streptococcal pharyngitis and nonstreptococcal respiratory disease and of normal control subjects. Penicillin inhibition by such pharyngeal flora was found in a higher proportion of cases during therapy than prior to and after the end of treatment in patients who were cured. The presence of penicillin-inhibiting organisms by this in vitro test was significantly higher in the pharyngeal flora of patients who developed streptococcal relapses after initial therapy. The organism most frequently associated with this phenomenon was Staphylococcus aureus.
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