AN INCREASING number of reports have appeared in the current medical literature concerning the prevalence of infections in the newborn by penicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.1 The purpose of this communication is to present certain clinical, epidemiological and bacteriologic observations on staphylococcic infections made in our nurseries during the period 1939 to 1950.
Since 1939 our attention has been focused on recurring episodes of staphylococcic infection in the newborn at the Bronx Hospital. Most infections were of the skin or conjunctiva. In October and November 1941 there occurred a typical outbreak of epidemic diarrhea of the newborn, involving 19 babies.2 Our studies seemed to indicate that a hemolytic, coagulase-positive Staph. aureus was the causative agent. Subsequent to this outbreak of diarrheal disease the hospital epidemiologist (W. W.) noted continuing sporadic cases of skin and conjunctival infection due to hemolytic coagulase-positive staphylococci during the period from 1941