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March 22, 1941

Current Comment

JAMA. 1941;116(12):1224. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820120038013

FREQUENCY OF EXCRETION OF POLIOMYELITIS VIRUS IN HUMAN STOOLS  According to the improved technic recently introduced by Howe and Bodian,1 of Johns Hopkins University, poliomyelitis virus can be demonstrated in infectious concentration in 70 per cent of the human stools voided during the first five days of the disease. This is nearly three times the frequency demonstrable by classic methods of intracerebral or intraperitoneal inoculation.2 In the new technic untreated stools are emulsified in a small volume of distilled water and the emulsion frozen in a solid carbon dioxide bath. One cc. of the thawed emulsion is repeatedly introduced into the nostrils of a rhesus monkey, and the mucous membrane gently rubbed with a pipe cleaner. Although such emulsions contain a rich bacterial flora, bacterial infection apparently never takes place. During the recent Baltimore epidemic the Johns Hopkins investigators applied this simplified technic to stool specimens taken from 14 different paralytic patients. Ten were