Streptomycin [1] was the first effective therapeutic for tuberculosis, a disease that had terrorized humans for centuries and a cause of human morbidity and mortality unmatched by wars or any other pestilence. Today, the use of streptomycin in infectious disease therapy has largely been replaced by less toxic and equally effective compounds, but it still has significant applications as a second-line treatment for TB and occasionally for the treatment of nosocomial multidrug-resistant gram-positive infections. It is also used in the treatment of some rarer conditions, including plague, brucellosis, bartonellosis, and tularaemia, possibly for lack of adequate evidence that more modern agents might be effective.


1. Waksman, S. A. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 1965, 5, 919.


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