In previous articles,1 I have described gram-positive diplococci, isolated in anaerobic cultures from the blood of measles and rubella patients. The measles diplococcus is small and round; the rubella diplococcus is larger, elongated, with pointed ends and a capsule. Diplococci similar to those isolated from the blood were also cultivated from the throat, nose, eye and ear of measles patients, and from the throat of rubella patients.
Examination of smears made early in these diseases from the tonsils and anterior pillars of the fauces has been found to show large numbers of diplococci corresponding morphologically to those found in the cultures. These diplococci begin to disappear with the abatement of the throat infection.
The tonsils or anterior pillars of the fauces, the part most inflamed, is swabbed with a sterile swab, the material smeared rather thickly on a clean glass slide, fixed with heat, stained a few seconds with
TUNNICLIFF R. OBSERVATIONS ON THROAT SMEARS IN MEASLES, RUBELLA (GERMAN MEASLES) AND SCARLET FEVER. JAMA. 1918;71(2):104–105. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600280026006