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July 20, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(3):196-197. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600290038013

Only a few years have elapsed since the word "spirochete" was practically unknown in medical circles, or suggested few associations with the genesis of disease. The description of spirochetes and the invention of the name date back to the days of Ehrenberg, 1838. Schaudinn's classic studies on what is now termed Spirochaeta pallida and its relation to a worldwide malady gave a new impetus to interest in this field of microbiology. Recently the identification of a spirochete as the cause of infectious jaundice1 has served to reduplicate the efforts to learn the details and distinctions that lend accuracy to bacteriologic diagnosis. The establishment of a new genus of spirochetes, as has recently been proposed for Leptospira by Noguchi,2 marks an important event.

The type organism that led to the assignment of this independent generic name to a group of spirochetes was the causative agent of infectious jaundice described

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