Historical and hygienic aspects on roles of quality requirements for antibiotic products in Japan: Part 5 - Introduction of technology and knowledge on streptomycin production from the United States of America

Morimasa Yagisawa, Patric J Foster, Tatsuo Kurokawa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In order to investigate the roles of quality requirements for antibiotics products in Japan, from historical and hygienic aspects, we examined how technology and knowledge in the production and quality control of streptomycin were introduced from the United States of America. In this study, through detailed investigations and analyses, it was confirmed that the introduction of technology and knowledge on streptomycin was strongly supported by Brigadier General CRAWFORD SAMS, the chief of the Public Health and Welfare Section (PHW) of the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers/General Headquarters, via the Ministry of Welfare in Japan. Dr. SELMAN WAKSMAN, the discoverer of streptomycin, along with scientists of Merck & Co., also helped Japanese industries extensively, via PHW, by providing the original streptomycin-producing strains and transferring expertise in streptomycin production. With the technology and knowledge being introduced from the USA, domestic production of streptomycin preparations increased very rapidly. As noted in our previous report, domestic production reached amounts enough to satisfy national demand within three years. Japanese people have a racial tendency to be highly susceptible to tuberculosis known as an incurable national disease. Thanks to streptomycin therapy, the tuberculosis mortality rate (per 100,000 population) had fallen dramatically within only five years from 187.2 in 1947 to 82.2 in 1952.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-255
Number of pages21
JournalJapanese Journal of Antibiotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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