April 11, 1914


Author Affiliations


From the Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases.

JAMA. 1914;LXII(15):1146-1147. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560400014004

The common presence of foci of infection, the history of previous infections, the occasional isolation of bacteria from the joints in chronic arthritis and the fixation of complement by certain bacteria in arthritis deformans (Hastings) suggest strongly the infectious character of this disease. The similarity, on the other hand, of the articular changes with those found in the nervous arthropathies, the associated dystrophies of the muscles, skin and nails, the symmetrical onset, the frequent involvement of nerve-trunks and the exacerbations following nervous shocks are commonly cited as indicating a neural origin. The chief objections to the infectious theory of arthritis deformans are that so many cases do not give a typical picture of infection and that no one thus far has isolated any organism from the tissues or joints in a considerable number of consecutive cases. Bacteriologic examination of the blood and of the articular exudate, when obtainable, usually has

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