Although the sulfonamides have been of great value in the treatment of ophthalmia neonatorum, certain problems have arisen in connection with their use which seemed to justify a study of the effects of penicillin.
For several years the Illinois Department of Public Health has provided hospitalization and treatment for patients with ophthalmia neonatorum. The plan provided for immediate hospitalization of the infant in a centrally located hospital where the services of an ophthalmologist and a pediatrician were available. The infants were treated with sulfonamides orally and with irrigations locally. Although no blindness resulted in some 35 cases so treated, it was found that many infants were either intolerant to the sulfonamides or quickly became resistant. Prolonged hospitalization usually was necessary before the infant could be discharged as clinically and bacteriologically cured.
Through the courtesy of the Committee on Chemotherapeutics and Other Agents of the National Research Council, a limited