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December 11, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(24):1990-1991. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780500046016

The meningococcus was recognized in 1887 as the cause of epidemic meningitis by Weichselbaum, who first identified this organism as a separate species. As late as 1909 it was still believed that there was no essential difference between individual members of the meningococcus group of organisms. In that year Dopter1 discovered that some of the meningococci isolated from human beings could be distinguished from the ordinary type of organisms by agglutination reactions. Soon there were found to be a number of different subtypes of meningococci. In 1915 Gordon and Murray examined many strains of meningococci from cases occurring among British soldiers and found that all of them could be classified in four definite types: type I, type II, type III, type IV. For many years the National Institute of Health in Washington has received from persons throughout the United States numerous strains of meningococci. The strains thus received from

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