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Bacterial interference: effects of oral antibiotics on the normal throat flora and its ability to interfere with group A streptococci.

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Publication Date
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PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

The effects of orally administered penicillin and tetracycline on the composition of the normal throat flora and its interference with the growth of group A streptococci were evaluated by throat culture and an agar overlay technique. Tetracycline caused only a slight, transient quantitative decrease in the composition of the flora and interference activity. Penicillin caused significant quantitative and qualitative decreases in both the composition of the flora and interference activity. The diminution in interference activity persisted up to 3 weeks after therapy. The differences observed between the antibiotic regimens correlated with differences in initial susceptibility of the flora to the antibiotic used and emergence of the resistance during therapy. Results indicated that although effects of antibiotics on the composition of the flora are transient, effects on its ability to interfere with group A streptococci may persist long after therapy is discontinued. It is thus possible that penicillin therapy may enhance susceptibility of certain individuals to subsequent infection with group A streptococci.

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