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The Current Status of Gentamicin for the Neonate and Young Infant

Am J Dis Child. 1972;124(1):13-14. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110130015002.
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For two decades the aminoglycoside antibiotics have been heavily relied upon in combination with a penicillin for initiation of therapy in suspected sepsis or meningitis of newborns and young infants. In the 1950s it was penicillin and streptomycin. In the early 1960s when it became apparent that the coliform organisms commonly involved in these infections had become generally resistant to streptomycin, physicians turned to kanamycin sulfate and that drug served us very well for a number of years.1

It was predictable and indeed predicted1 that with such widespread use of kanamycin in hospitals throughout the nation kanamycin resistant coliform organisms would emerge as a serious problem. In anticipation of this we began monitoring the antimicrobial susceptibilities of organisms recovered from blood or spinal fluid of newborns and young infants in 1963 hoping that surveillance would alert us to the development of kanamycin resistance so that the situation would not


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