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September 5, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(10):608-609. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490290020003

When bacteriologic methods were first applied to the systematic study of human diseases, it was soon learned that streptococci were widely distributed in connection with various morbid processes. Control investigations in connection with normal individuals showed them to be also commonly, if not constantly, present on various mucous surfaces of the body, especially those of the mouth and throat. When more exact bacteriologic methods had been elaborated and the streptococci, which were isolated by the plate method, were studied as to their tinctorial, cultural and morphologic peculiarities, it was thought by careful investigators that the streptococci coming from different diseases could be distinguished by certain characteristic properties. On further study, however, it was found that these properties were not constant, but could be acquired or lost by each of the supposed forms. With the advent of agglutination and immunization tests for the detection and differentiation of bacterial species, it was

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