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December 9, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(24):2022. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640240056031

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To the Editor:  —The article of Cowdry and Olitsky on "Differences Between Mitochondria and Bacteria" is wholly deserving of your editorial comment (The Journal, Nov. 26, 1922, p. 1848). It is gratifying to have grotesque conceptions in biology neatly disposed of. To those who have worked with Rickettsia bodies, however, the statement that their significance in typhus fever, trench fever and other conditions has been influenced by the researches of Cowdry and Olitsky seems unwarranted. In connection with trench fever, Rickettsia bodies have been seen only in extracellular situations in lice. Mitochondria, at least, are always intracellular. The association of Rickettsia with typhus fever is most strongly supported by their occurrence in experimentally fed lice, and under such conditions Rickettsia occur in such numbers as to distend and disrupt the epithelial cells of the louse's stomach, a phenomenon not even suspected to occur from the multiplication of mitochondria, least of

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