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June 12, 1937

Current Comment

JAMA. 1937;108(24):2045. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780240037015

GIOVAN COSIMO BONOMO  On June 20 the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the parasitic nature of scabies by Bonomo will be celebrated. This occasion has already received the attention of the American Association of the History of Medicine, which adopted and forwarded a resolution to the Italian Society of Dermatology and Syphilology and the Italian Society of the History of Medicine and Natural Sciences for their joint commemoration of "Scabies Day." According to Friedman, "it was not until 250 years ago that for the first time in history the etiology of any one of the diseases known to man was discovered."1 That disease was scabies and, although the cause and effect were correctly assigned in 1687, it was not until 1834 that Bonomo's discovery was confirmed by Renucci, who demonstrated its true nature experimentally. Sharp-eyed peasant women, long familiar with the itch and its cutaneous

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