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An Outbreak of Pharyngitis Due to Tetracycline-Resistant Group A, Type 12 Streptococci

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(6):696-698. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060698007.
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Although penicillin or erythromycin has been recommended as the antibiotic of choice for therapy of β-hemolytic streptococcal infections, the tetracycline drugs have been referred to frequently as alternatives in cases of hypersensitivity to the other antibiotics.1 It has, however, been pointed out that with use of these drugs streptococci, despite their in vitro sensitivity to tetracyclines, are not eradicated, nor is rheumatic fever prevented, with nearly the degree of effectiveness obtained by administration of penicillin or erythromycin.2-4 It is the purpose of this report to demonstrate that strains of Group A streptococci have appeared that are resistant in vitro to therapeutic levels of the tetracyclines. This should also indicate the need for concern in the commonplace use of these drugs, often without throat cultures, as broad-spectrum antibiotics for upper respiratory illnesses.

Family Outbreak  The initial outbreak was observed in a family of six with children ranging from 3


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