C C C C 774 MAN'S PHYSICAL WELFARE Great credit is due to the French scientists, Fourneau, the Trefonels, and their co-workers, for their contribution to the new idea in chemotherapy, namely, that emphasis should be shifted from dye molecules to simpler molecules. By 1941 well over a thousand derivatives of sulfanilamide had been prepared and tested; only a few were found to be better than the parent substance.^ Many Diseases Have Yielded to Treatment by the Sulfonamide Drugs. Sulfanilamide early gained a reputation in treating streptococcic infections; it was found to be valuable in the treatment of erysipelas, childbirth infections, blood-stream infections, septic sore throat, meningitis, and acute infectious arthritis. What a wonderful thing it was that this new drug should be so very effective in treating the diseases for which there had previously been no established specific. Streptococci are among man's worst bacterial enemies. Sulfanilamide was soon found to be of little or no value in treating pneumonia; but its derivative, sulfapyridine, was found to be of very definite value. Sulfathiazol and sulfadiazine, close relatives of sulfanilamide, are somewhat more satisfactory than sulfapyridine; and they have almost replaced it in the treatment of gonorrhea and pneumonia. Sulfanilamide derivatives have aided in the treatment of still other diseases, such as blood poisoning due to staphylococcus infections, certain bacterial endocarditis cases (a usually fatal heart disease), middleear infections (such as otitis media), peritonitis, and bubonic plague. Sulfathiazol is especially successful in combating infections due to staphylococci, such as the cocci of boils and carbuncles. is not effective in treating these infections. Sulfanilamide The Architecture of Sulfamlamide and Its Derivatives Is Similar to That of a Group of Houses, Each Different, but All Based on a Master Plan. H H H H H2N— C— C— / % / % C—N=N— \ / \ / c=c c=c H NH2 H H prontosil (2, 4-diaminoazobenzene-4'-sulfonainide) C—SO2NH2 ' Sulfanilamide is manufactured at a cost of about one dollar a pound. In 1938 three htmdred thousand pounds were manufactured.