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Article
August 1939

THE RICKETTSIA QUESTION IN TRACHOMAII. THE LOUSE AS A POSSIBLE DISSEMINATING AGENT FOR THE VIRUS

Arch Ophthalmol. 1939;22(2):262-270. doi:10.1001/archopht.1939.00860080106009
Abstract

Nicolle1 in 1909 first demonstrated that lice disseminated typhus fever and succeed in transmitting the disease from monkey to monkey by the bites of infected lice. These results were quickly confirmed in other parts of the world by Ricketts and Wilder,2 Wilder,3 Goldberger and Anderson4 and Wolbach, Todd and Palfrey.5 In 1916 da Rocha-Lima6 described small pleomorphic bodies, often bipolar staining, which he called Rickettsia prowazeki, in patients with typhus and in the gastrointestinal tract of lice fed on patients with typhus. These experiments are well known, and it has been shown conclusively that lice may transmit such acute febrile diseases as typhus, trench fever and others. When Busacca7 described bodies in trachomatous conjunctival epithelial cells as rickettsias, it seemed natural that if trachoma is a rickettsial disease then it too should have an intermediate vector. Also, Cuénod8

262 alone and with

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