In a previous communication1 one of us (Duval) stated that the initial multiplication in vitro of the bacillus found in leprosy lesions is attended with considerable difficulty unless bits of the infected tissue are transferred to the culture-medium and special methods employed for the breaking down of the tissue protein. In other words, the removed tissue particles must be hydrolyzed before the contained acid-fast bacilli will multiply.
The difficulty in continuing the multiplication in subcultures occurs as soon as the digested tissue material has been exhausted. Therefore it is absolutely essential to substitute at some period in the process a medium which contains split products of protein digestion, such as the amino-acids, until the culture has accustomed itself to more or less saprophytic conditions.
Early in the work on the cultivation of acid-fast bacilli from leprous lesions it was noted that, in the removed tissue bits which had become
DUVAL CW, WELLMAN C. A NEW AND EFFICIENT METHOD OF CULTIVATING BACILLUS LEPRÆ FROM THE TISSUESWITH OBSERVATIONS ON THE DIFFERENT STRAINS OF ACID-FAST BACILLI FOUND IN LEPROUS LESIONS. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(19):1427–1428. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260050103006