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April 5, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XIV(14):508. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410140024003

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The Bacillus of Diphtheria and its Pathogenic Value.  —From January 1 to May 1, 1889, twenty-nine persons, among them twenty young girls, were attacked by diphtheria in the little village of Horn, in the Netherlands; the mortality from the disease was 34 per cent.; its origin remained undiscovered. For two years before no case of diphtheria had been observed among the chickens or pigeons of this locality. The authors, Messrs. Sprouck, Wintgens and Doets, were able to make bacteriological studies of the pseudo-membranes at various stages of the disease, which in 37 per cent, of the cases was accompanied by progressive paralysis which, except in one case, did not extend to the larynx. In the seven cases which they studied they were able to obtain pure cultures of the bacillus described by Klebs in 1883, but they were not able to find the spores described by Babes. Rats and mice

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