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February 7, 1925


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Experimental Bacteriology, the Mayo Foundation.

JAMA. 1925;84(6):429-432. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660320021007

The hypothesis that a streptococcus having peculiar neurotropic and other properties might have etiologic relationship to epidemic poliomyelitis was formulated on the basis of certain extremely specific effects noted during my studies on focal infection and elective localization in other diseases. In 1916, I first demonstrated the presence of a streptococcus having peculiar neurotropic properties in infection atria and brain and cord in a series of cases of poliomyelitis. It has since been demonstrated consistently in sporadic cases, and in a large number of cases in various epidemics. Through agglutination tests and intracerebral inoculation of rabbits with dilute suspensions of swabbings from the nasopharynx, I demonstrated its presence during the epidemic of poliomyelitis that occurred in and about Rochester in 1921, not only in persons suffering from severe and abortive attacks, but also in normal contacts and in persons not exposed to the disease. Moreover, it was proved absent one

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