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October 13, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(7):518-519. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860410034011

In 1942 Baker1 of the Rockefeller Institute, Princeton, N. J., isolated and described a filtrable virus which he believed was the cause of "scours" (pneumoenteritis) in cattle. This disease is recognized by fever, diarrhea and pneumonia; calves less than 1 month of age are particularly susceptible. While the death rate is usually low, the infected calves do not develop normally.

The suspicion that a virus might be the cause of this disease was first voiced by Nagel,2 based on his failure to demonstrate bacteria in pneumonic lungs of "scours" calves. His attempts to demonstrate a virus, however, were inconclusive. Only 1 of the 4 calves inoculated with a Seitz filtrate of infected lungs developed evidence of disease, necropsy revealing an intercurrent infection. Similar inconclusive results were reported by Lamont, who was able to produce a disease in calves by simultaneous inoculation with a Berkefeld filtrate of infected lungs