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April 24, 1937


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JAMA. 1937;108(17):1405-1406. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780170023008

Torulae are yeastlike parasitic fungi frequently found in sputum cultures, especially from patients with chronic bronchitis in the tropics.1 Under proper conditions they become pathogenic. They have been found in every part of the earth where there have been men educated to recognize them. They occur abundantly in nature on trees, fruits, bees, wasp nests and insects and have even been found in canned butter and milk.

Botanically they fall into the genus of Cryptococcus, which belongs to the subclass of Fungi Imperfecti, the waste basket for all species that have not exhibited a complete life history and many of which have no relation to disease. Torulae are usually round, multiply both in tissues and in cultures by budding, do not form endospores, and are usually red, white or black. Torula histolytica is white.

Although they do not produce mycelia in tissue or in cultures, they do throw out

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