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October 4, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(14):1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820400042012

The finding of the tubercle bacillus is of the utmost importance as evidence in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Tuberculous infants and young children do not expectorate their sputum; they swallow it. Meunier in 1898 examined the fasting gastric contents of tuberculous children by staining the centrifuged gastric specimen. The method did not attract attention until the report by Armand-Delille and Vibert in 1927. In the course of the next nine years Armand-Delille and Kérambrun1 investigated 1,298 cases of respiratory disease in children by this method. Of these, 712 were exposed to tuberculosis in their homes and manifested signs of pulmonary or lymph node tuberculosis and positive cutaneous reactions. The gastric contents were examined by direct microscopy and in some instances by inoculation into guinea pigs or by the culture method of Loewenstein or of Petragnani. Bacilli were recovered in more than 50 per cent of 668 tuberculous children but

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