Owing to the fact that scarlet fever has long been noted a contagious disease, it is not surprising that early and persistent attempts were made to discover its exact cause. Many years before the development of bacteriology, investigators believed that a specific contagium was present and searched for it, mainly in the blood, with their crude magnifying lenses.
In 1869 Hallier considered the micrococcus which he claims to have seen in the blood corpuscles of scarlet fever patients to be the cause. From then until 1884, when Loeffler isolated a streptococcus from the throat of a scarlet fever patient, various cocci, bacilli and "bodies" were discovered in the skin, blood and urine, brought forward as the solution of the problem, received no confirmation, and dropped into oblivion.
In 1885 Powers noted the presence of scarlet fever among the consumers of milk from the Hendon farm, England. The udders of
KOLMER JA. A STUDY OF STREPTOCOCCUS ANTIBODIES IN SCARLET FEVER WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO COMPLEMENT FIXATION REACTIONS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1912;IX(2):220-235. doi:10.1001/archinte.1912.00060140094007