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April 3, 1948


Author Affiliations

Birmingham, Ala.

From the Department of Medicine of the Medical College of Alabama, department of University of Alabama, Birmingham.

JAMA. 1948;136(14):919-920. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890310011004

Gonococcic meningitis is looked on as a rare disease. In many text books it is not even included among the complications of gonorrhea. The first mention of it was possibly in 1805, when nervous manifestations were described in conjunction with gonorrhea.1 It was not until 1879 that the gonococcus was discovered, and not until 19052 that positive means of identification, such as the differential sugar reactions and the agglutination, agglutinin absorption and complement fixation tests, were introduced. In 1909 the review of the literature of this malady by Henderson and Ritchie1 closed the era of purely clinical diagnosis and opened a new era of laboratory confirmation.

What then are the criteria necessary to establish the identity of the gonococcus? Birkhaug and Parlow3 have stated that in addition to the morphologic and cultural characteristics of this organism, the only reliable criterion is either its fermentation of dextrose

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