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October 1908


Author Affiliations


From the Dane-Billings' fellowship in medicine, Rush Medical College, in affiliation with the University of Chicago.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1908;II(3):266-276. doi:10.1001/archinte.1908.00050080068006

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Since the beginning of modern bacteriology, many observers have believed that acute articular rheumatism belonged to the infectious diseases. Its course, frequently beginning with sore throat and terminating in a relatively short time, its appearance in epidemics and the occasional infection of an attendant, the similarity of the pathologic changes to those occurring in diseases known to be contagious and infectious, stimulated bacteriologists to search for the infectious agent. All types of bacteria were isolated from rheumatic cases, bacilli and cocci, aërobic and anaërobic; each worker had his own specific organism. The diversity of findings led to the conclusion that various organisms might produce identical symptoms and pathologic changes, just as pneumonia might be produced by a variety of bacteria. The occurrence of articular changes, similar to those of rheumatism, in pneumonia, scarlet fever and other infectious diseases made this assumption the more plausible. The view that acute articular

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