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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 26, 2004


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2496-a

We have recently had occasion to refer to the progress in the study of protozoa that has been made by American pathologists within the past two years, which has been remarkable, and which will perhaps turn the attention of European scientists to the work of Americans more than any other one thing that the latter have recently done. Of these advances, however, there is none so fundamental as the successful cultivation in artificial media of pathogenic protozoa, first accomplished by Novy and McNeal of Ann Arbor. The greatest difficulty in the way of studying protozoan diseases has always been the impossibility of securing the organisms by themselves, free from other living cells, and in pure culture, so that they can be studied during the course of their growth and development, and particularly so that their ability to produce disease when freed from any other possible contamination can be demonstration. Beginning with the common trypanosoma of rats, Trypanosoma lewisi, pure cultures were obtained that now have been carried through sixty-seven generations. Later cultures were obtained of the organisms found in nagana, the tsetse-fly disease of Zululand, and other observers have found the method successful for the cultivation of the trypanosome of mal de caderas, a disease of South America that affects horses.

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