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May 17, 1930


JAMA. 1930;94(20):1602-1603. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710460056013

While hundreds of papers on the streptococci are published each year, many questions on the specificity and toxigenic power of these organisms remain in dispute. The immunologic research has, however, a definite trend. In a recent address before the Society of American Bacteriologists, Hektoen1 reviewed evidence that points to the specificity of certain streptococci in the causation of scarlet fever and erysipelas. The careful, perhaps classic, observations of the Dicks were foremost. They observed that a nurse attending a patient with scarlet fever developed a mild attack two days after noticing that her finger was sore. When the rash was intense, a hemolytic streptococcus was obtained from the pus in her finger. A culture of this organism was swabbed on the tonsils of five persons, one of whom developed typical mild scarlet fever. The filtrate of this culture was inoculated in five volunteers without any effect, but the unfiltered

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