The extension of the study of the quaternary salts of hexamethylenetetramine to those obtained by the addition of this base to the most varied types of substances containing aliphatically bound halogen has demonstrated that the introduction of the hexamethylenetetramine nucleus in this manner results in the production of bactericidal substances or enhances the bactericidal action if already present.
In particular it was found possible by the use of the halogenacetyl group, XCH2CO, as a connecting link, to furnish primary and secondary aliphatic and aromatic amines, alcohols, and hydrocarbons of the most varied character with the hexamethylenetetramine molecule and to study the relation between chemical constitution and bactericidal action in the series of substances so prepared. Because of the variety of chemical types studied, the results are too involved for a detailed summary here.
Many of the substances were found to be very powerful bactericides, and in a number of instances derivatives of purely aliphatic nature were found to possess an unusual bactericidal power.
Bacillus typhosus, streptococcus, meningococcus, and gonococcus were the microorganisms used for the tests, and striking instances of partial specificity were observed. This specificity was found to favor not one species alone, but instances were found in which each of the types of bacilli was shown to be especially susceptible to one or another of the particular types of compound employed. The source of this partial specificity is to be sought not in the hexamethylenetetramine nucleus itself but in the molecule to which it is attached.
The action of some of the substances was tested in the presence of serum or protein and was found to be not at all or only slightly inhibited. In other cases marked inhibition occurred. The factors controlling the serum- or protein-compatibility of these substances are likewise to be sought in that portion of the molecule other than the hexamethylenetetramine.