Chairman Neter: The advances made in the treatment of infectious diseases since 1935, and more particularly during the last decade, have been nothing short of miraculous. Surveying these accomplishments briefly, it is clear that adequate chemotherapeutic and antibiotic agents are available for many bacterial and rickettsial infections and even for a few diseases caused by the larger viruses, closely related to the rickettsiae. Furthermore, the medical profession has had available for many years drugs which have proved effective in maladies caused by some protozoa, such as malaria, and substantial further advances have been made in this field during the following World War II.
At the same time, we are all painfully aware that in the daily practice of pediatrics we are still lacking chemotherapeutic and antibiotic agents which are curative in diseases caused by the true viruses and, to a larger extent, in illnesses due to fungi. Also for certain bacterial infections, such as those caused by mycobacteria, Proteus, Pseudomonas and others, the ideal antibiotic will yet have to be discovered. Indubitably, the research that is going on throughout the civilized world in the search for newer and better antibiotics will, in due time, solve these all-important problems.
The field of antibiotic therapy and prophylaxis has expanded at such an extraordinary rate that it has not yet been possible in all instances to determine with certainty the relative efficacy of various antibiotics in all infections and the optimal dosage schedule for each. It is quite likely that all of us, for example, use more penicillin in some patients than is needed.
- Copyright © 1953 by the American Academy of Pediatrics