March 11, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(10):752-753. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740100046022

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The Infectious Origin of Cataract  Dr. Lavagna, who for years has been doing research on the infectious origin of cataract, gave recently some results of his investigations. Since Rômer and Dor's reports were published it has been accepted that disorders in the crystalline lens, leading to the formation of cataract, are the result of hydrolysis and the retention of cellular poisons originating elsewhere in the organism. Lavagna believes in an infectious origin. The increase of lipoids observed in the tissues of a cataract is, in his opinion, a defense reaction of the organism against a chronic infection, for similar reactions are observed in septic gangrenes caused by certain anaerobic bacteria. Cataract is transmissible to the guinea-pig by intra-ocular inoculations of an emulsion of cataract tissue. An emulsion of human cataract introduced subcutaneously, or even by mouth, causes cataract to develop in animals in 60 per cent of the trials, which

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