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July 7, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(10):930-931. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100050018

Ruchman1 has recently shed interesting and additional light on the nature of the epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EK) virus. This work, confirmed by Cheever,2 suggests the possibility that the virus of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, originally isolated by Sanders,3 has a biphasic pathogenicity referable to ocular and nervous tissues. The recent findings indicate a close immunologic relationship between the viruses of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and St. Louis encephalitis; indeed, the two agents could not be differentiated by intracerebral neutralization tests. A similar relationship, but to a lesser degree, was demonstrated between epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and Japanese and West Nile encephalitis viruses. The only demonstrable difference between epidemic keratoconjunctivitis and St. Louis viruses was to be found in the increased pathogenicity of the epidemic keratoconjunctivitis virus for rabbits. These findings are consistent with those of Sanders, who reported passage of his original virus through graded collodion membranes with an average pore diameter of 75

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