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September 17, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(12):969-970. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690120045018

The problem of the etiology of trachoma has been considered from several points of view during the last few years. Quite naturally, in harmony with the experiences gained by the investigation of comparable maladies, the assumption of a microbiotic causation of the disease has attained the greatest prominence. On the other hand, the object lessons of serious lesions attributable to dietary deficiencies have made some of the students of trachoma question whether the malady is not directly or indirectly brought about by the lack of certain indispensable factors concerned with nutrition. Bacterial causation has not been established for either beriberi or pellagra despite the features that they present which would lead one to suspect infection or contagion to play a part in their development. Proper food is both the preventive and the cure of beriberi and pellagra; and the eye disorder known as xerophthalmia is demonstrably an avitaminosis. A further