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December 5, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(23):1414-1415. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490420036005

Although the evidence that connects sewage-polluted water supplies with outbreaks of typhoid fever is entirely convincing both in character and mass, there have been relatively few instances in which bacteriologists have succeeded in isolating the specific typhoid bacillus from suspicious waters. In view of the insufficiency of the data relied on for identification, most of the early statements concerning the finding of the typhoid organism must be regarded as of exceedingly doubtful value. The criteria on which up to a very few years ago such identification was based could by no means be accepted by bacteriologists at the present time. Especial uncertainty again has been recently introduced into the subject by the discovery of the group of dysentery and "pseudo-dysentery" bacilli, of B. fecalis alcaligenes and of a host of related organisms.

A survey of the literature shows that there are very few reported cases of the detection of typhoid

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