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Article
August 1948

AN AID IN DETECTING TRACHOMA-LIKE INCLUSION BODIES IN THE CONJUNCTIVA

Arch Ophthalmol. 1948;40(2):147-151. doi:10.1001/archopht.1948.00900030152005
Abstract

IN 1907, while in Java to investigate the immunology of syphilis, Halberstädter and von Prowazek1 discovered the inclusion bodies associated with trachoma. This observation was the first demonstration of such bodies in the eye.

A few investigators have expressed the belief that the infectious agent of trachoma is a rickettsial body.2 In support of this view, Cuénod and Nataf2b claimed the passage of the agent through the louse onto a normal conjunctiva, with the production of clinical trachoma.

Halberstädter-Prowazek inclusion bodies are observed in the conjunctival scrapings in cases of certain ocular infections. Although trachoma is the most important of these, similar bodies are also seen in cases of inclusion conjunctivitis, psittacosis and lymphogranuloma venereum.3 Whether, as Lindner4 stated, these bodies constitute the agent causing trachoma or whether they are the by-products of a tissue reaction to this agent is not clear. What does seem

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