Bacterial chemotherapy has emerged from the laboratory. It is primarily in the laboratory that progress must be made in the development of more effective compounds and of compounds active against diseases as yet not influenced by chemical treatment. It is also in the laboratory that a better understanding of the mode of action of these drugs and of their toxic effects can be obtained.
I wish to discuss some aspects of the problem from a laboratory point of view. This new field has been characterized by too hasty clinical application of experimental results. Some shortcomings in our knowledge and some of the difficulties encountered in transferring results from one species to another will be brought out. This paper is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the field of bacterial chemotherapy but a discussion of certain phases of the subject with which I have had experience in the laboratory.