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The works of Leber, Sattler, Gifford and others on the bacteria of the conjunctiva are practically in accord in the opinion that the conjunctiva always contains bacteria. I recently made a series of experiments upon 100 individuals. These 100 persons comprised patients (not eye patients) in the dispensary, nurses, medical students and others. The inoculations were on nutrient agar, and usually smear cultures were made. A platinum loop was sterilized by passing it through a flame, and it was rubbed over the lower part of the conjunctival sac. The patient was then made to look down and the loop was carried well up into the upper part of the sac, and finally rubbed gently over portions of the bulbar conjunctiva. It is hardly practicable to bring the loop into contact with every part of the conjunctiva, and I doubt whether the platinum loop ever touched more than half the conjunctival
RANDOLPH RL. BACTERIA IN THE NORMAL CONJUNCTIVA AND THE EFFECT UPON THEM OF ASEPTIC AND ANTISEPTIC IRRIGATIONS.. JAMA. 1898;XXX(2):69-71. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440540017002e