The therapy of severe staphylococcal infections caused by microorganisms resistant to penicillin is currently unsatisfactory.
In 1955, a new antimicrobial agent, vancomycin, was isolated from strains of Streptomyces orientalis. This antibiotic was markedly effective in vitro against Gram-positive microorganisms, including staphylococci which were resistant to penicillin and other antistaphylococcal antimicrobials commonly in use.1,2
Studies by several authors3-7 have indicated that vancomycin is beneficial in severe staphylococcal disease in man. The effects of vancomycin therapy in 8 patients who had overwhelming staphylococcal infection are reported in the present studies. Complete clinical recovery and apparent eradication of the infection was achieved in 5 of the 8 patients. Marked improvement occurred in one patient, but the microorganism was not eradicated. Two patients were considered to be therapeutic failures.
These cases are reported below in detail to permit clear evaluation of the capabilities of this new and effective antistaphylococcal agent. Special attention