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May 3, 1913

Current Comment

JAMA. 1913;60(18):1366-1368. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340180028014

TETANUS FROM GELATIN  More than ten years ago Dr. John F. Anderson, the present director of the Hygienic Laboratory of the United States Public Health Service, called attention to the occasional presence of tetanus spores in samples of commercial gelatin.1 The subject was investigated by him at that time because gelatin injections were being used somewhat extensively as a means of treatment for aneurysm and as a direct and prophylactic hemostatic. Instances of tetanus following the injection of gelatin in hemophilia and in other conditions had been recorded in the literature; and Levi and Brun of Strasburg reported that they had discovered tetanus bacilli in four out of six samples of gelatin examined. Anderson suggested that gelatin could easily become infected with tetanus spores while drying in the air during its preparation in conjunction with other procedures that go on in a large meat-packing house. Abderhalden, the well-known physiologist

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