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Article
November 5, 1927

MALTA FEVER: WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE PHOENIX, ARIZ., EPIDEMIC OF 1922

Author Affiliations

Director, Pathological Laboratory PHOENIX, ARIZ.; Surgeon, United States Public Health Service WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1927;89(19):1581-1584. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690190019006
Abstract

In the summer of 1922 there occurred in Phoenix, Ariz., the first epidemic of Malta fever that has so far been recorded in the United States, and an excellent opportunity was afforded for studying the disease from several angles. It will be impossible, however, in the space allotted to present other than a brief account.

Historically, Malta fever dates back to Hippocrates, who gave convincing case reports. Its manifestations were described by Burnett in 1814 under the name of remittent malarial fever, and this view of the disease was held until 1878, when British medical officers drew a clear distinction between the two conditions. The specific organism was discovered in 1887 by Bruce, in honor of whom it is now named Brucella melitensis. The agglutination method of diagnosis was introduced by Wright and Semple in 1897. A commission of the Royal Society of London made a very comprehensive study of

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