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March 1, 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Children's Hospital Research Foundation and the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1941;116(9):801-807. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820090001001

It has been abundantly demonstrated in recent years that acute nonsuppurative encephalitis is a syndrome of multiple etiology. My purpose in the present communication is (1) to present evidence that organisms of the genus Toxoplasma can be the cause of such encephalitis in children, (2) to describe the clinical and pathologic appearances and (3) to indicate the steps which can be taken to establish the diagnosis.

PRESENT STATUS OF TOXOPLASMA  Toxoplasma is a genus of protozoan parasites which were first observed in the gondi (North African rodent) in 1908 by Nicolle and Manceaux,1 who differentiated it from Leishmania, and independently in the same year in the rabbit (Brazil) by Splendore.2 They are highly organized parasites consisting of distinct cytoplasm and nuclear chromatin and are crescentic, pyriform, oval or round, measuring 6 to 7 microns in length and 2 to 4 microns in width, depending on the stage of