Crofton, Sir John Wenman

Crofton, Sir John Wenman,

1912–2009, British physician, b. Dublin. He served in the British medical corps during World War II and during 1946–52 was part of a research team studying the effects of streptomycinstreptomycin
, antibiotic produced by soil bacteria of the genus Streptomyces and active against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (see Gram's stain), including species resistant to other antibiotics, e.g.
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 on tuberculosis (TB). In 1952 he was named chairman of the department of respiratory diseases at the Univ. of Edinburgh at the time of a severe TB epidemic. He and other researchers had had some success in preventing drug resistance in TB by using para-aminosalicylic acid with streptomycin, and he led a team of doctors who developed a successful TB treatment by adding a third drug, isoniazidisoniazid
, drug used to treat tuberculosis. Also known as isonicotinic acid hydrazide, isoniazid is the most effective antituberculosis drug currently available. The drug inhibits or kills the tubercle bacilli that cause the disease.
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, to the regimen. This multidrug approach to treatment, which Crofton pioneered, is now also the model for therapy in such diseases as cancer and AIDS. He retired from the university in 1977 but continued to serve as a consultant on TB and, later, as an adviser on tobacco to the World Health Organization.
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