Dr. Fineberg: As I understand it, the babies at Geelong are washed every other day and the longest stay of the babies in your study was 42 days, so that the maximum number of washes was 21 or 22. This point may be important in identifying the line between nontoxicity and toxicity of hexachlorophene bathing.

Secondly, in view of your implications that the monkeys in Hart's study may have ingested significant amounts of hexachlorophene, do Australian babies not put their fingers in their mouths?

Dr. Plueckhahn: Well, I have worked a lot with monkeys, and their babies suck their thumbs a lot more than do human infants, during their first weeks of life.

Dr. Gezon: I would like to emphasize the point that the enormous difference in the virulence of different strains of staphylococci might have something to do with the incidence of staphylococci disease in your study. For instance, in our experience the incidence of disease related to strain is as follows:

See Table in the PDF File

Dr. Plueckhahn: I agree that there is a big difference in the virulence of various strains of staphylococci. I also think that the number and concentration of staphylococci in the surroundings of the baby are almost as important as the strain. Actually, in our study we never observed predominance of a particular strain. My impression is that the attack rate may fluctuate from month to month with a particular strain as well as from strain to strain. However, our data are qualitative rather than quantitative.

Dr. Shinefield: Did you phage-type your staphylococci?

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