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Article
October 20, 1917

THE IMPORTANCE OF FURTHER STUDY OF THE DIPHTHERIA GROUP OF BACTERIA

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(16):1352. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590430046015
Abstract

After the discovery by Loeffler and Hoffmann of an organism now known as B. hoffmannii or the pseudo-diphtheria bacillus, morphologically identical with the diphtheria bacillus but seldom pathogenic and a non-fermenter of glucose, it was soon found that there was a whole group of diphtheroid organisms with slight morphologic and cultural differences, and identical with neither the true diphtheria bacillus nor B. hoffmannii. The intensive study of this group has never attracted investigators as it deserved, probably because of the general opinion that diphtheroids possess slight pathogenic powers and generally are secondary invaders. This opinion may be due to the fact that these organisms are so widespread, occurring in the air, in milk, and apparently at some time or other in nearly every organ of the body, normal as well as diseased. But their possible relation to Hodgkin's disease as indicated by the discovery of a diphtheroid (B. hodgkinii) in

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