A novel form of synergy has been observed to occur between cephalexin and certain other /3-lactam antibiotics. In the presence of cephalexin a reduction was found in the concentration of other /3-lactam agents needed to induce lysis of Escherichia coli; the effect was particularly marked when cephalexin was allowed to act for a short time before the addition of the second agent.

The basis of this type of synergy-which is not likely to be of therapeutic value-is discussed in terms of a theory previously put forward, which suggests that penicillins and cephalosporins have two distinct sites of action in Gram-negative bacilli.

We thank Glaxo Laboratories Ltd for financial assistance.


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