STREPTOMYCIN, when given by mouth, produces a rapid reduction of the bacterial flora of the colon. However, this effect is only temporary in most cases, and streptomycin-resistant strains of bacteria rapidly repopulate the bowel. Because of this rapid development of resistant strains of bacteria, Lockwood1 recommends that streptomycin should not be used for preoperative preparation of the bowel.
Recent observations by Mast and Harrison2 and by Wooldridge3 indicate that glucuronolactone may aid streptomycin in producing and maintaining low bacterial counts in the intestinal tract. Glucuronolactone is an inner anhydride of glucuronic acid and forms on dehydration of the latter. Wooldridge and Mast4 demonstrated that this substance has certain antibacterial properties in vitro. Glucuronolactone in concentrations of 0.5 to 2.0 per cent was found to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli. When glucuronolactone and streptomycin are combined in the test tube, the antibacterial effect against the test organisms is only slightly greater than when streptomycin is