Mumps is one of the infectious diseases that is still of unknown origin. For some time it has been regarded by many as due to a filtrable virus present in the saliva of the patient. Martha Wollstein1 found that intraglandular injections of filtrates of mouth washings from acute cases will produce typical parotitis and orchitis in susceptible animals. Moreover, not only are the saliva and affected glands of the inoculated animals virulent, but in passage through a series of animals the virus first increases and then decreases in virulence. Micrococci also have been described as the probable cause of mumps. Herb's2 inoculations of animals, especially of dogs, with a gram-positive diplococcus produced swellings, secondary orchitis, and an opsonic index for this organism like that in mumps, which appeared to indicate a pathogenic rôle for this coccus. Results similar to these have been obtained recently with cultures of a
IS MUMPS CAUSED BY A SPIROCHETE? JAMA. 1925;85(10):748–749. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670100036014
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