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By Barrie Pitt (Editor)
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Extra resources for History of the Second World War, Part 41: Operation Torch: Why was Britain's part played down?
I think that may be why our eyes were off the ball, so to speak, round about the mid-1960s. 45 Eventually I trawled 15 isolates between 1961, when our collection started, and 1963 when I did the investigation. The interesting thing is that we had missed all of them in our ordinary susceptibility testing, which again prompts me to wonder whether, say, the original Beecham screens on staphylococci had missed isolates as did Patricia Jevons’. So, we had missed them in the laboratory. But interestingly, we had also missed them clinically, so there was never any question from the clinicians that what was being used was failing.
Note on draft transcript, 4 December 2007. 36 Stewart et al. (1960). 37 Douthwaite and Trafford (1960). See Figure 4. ’ Note on draft transcript, 1 December 2007. Professor Gordon Stewart wrote: ‘I worked closely with Dr John Farquharson, an organic chemist who was the first Director of Research at Beecham’s. We knew that we were handling derivatives of 6-APA with insertions of amino- and methyl-groups which altered antimicrobial activity. The formula for BRL1241, methicillin, was divulged to me in confidence after we had used it to arrest an MRSA septicaemia in December 1959.
First, we have had Gordon Stewart telling us about a major outbreak, while a number of us have commented that we missed the thing as it went by. We were conscious of no cross-infection, and, indeed, of no particular clinical problem. 76 I think we, too, ought to be careful when we are talking about virulence and a property that I have tried to call ‘epidemigenicity’. It isn’t virulence, it’s the ability to spread, and I think it’s important to distinguish [the two]. I think those early strains were no more virulent than any other staphylococcus.
History of the Second World War, Part 41: Operation Torch: Why was Britain's part played down? by Barrie Pitt (Editor)