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The following observations, statistics and histories are offered as a contribution toward clearing up obscure and unsettled points relative to diphtheria and antitoxin.
It has long since been experimentally proven that the Klebs-Löffler bacillus produces a specific toxin giving rise to all the classic signs of diphtheria. The pseudo-diphtheria bacillus is supposed to be a non-virulent, attenuated or modified form of the former. The latter, the streptococcus longus, streptococcus pyogenes and staphylococcus are associated with the Löffler bacillus and cause pathogenic conditions, respecting which there is much to learn. For instance, such cases of croup, necessitating even intubation, in which these non-specific germs only could be grown in spite of repeated culture trials, have been relegated to the list of anomalous cases. Such an explanation, however, no longer satisfies the scientific world. More extended biologic research and study of serum-therapy will doubtless change the nomenclature of a disease having such
ENGELMANN R. OBSERVATIONS AND STATISTICS UPON THE USE OF ANTITOXIN IN ONE HUNDRED CASES OF DIPHTHERIA.. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(8):374-376. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430600026002h