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April 2, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(14):1200-1201. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730400078024

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Saprophytic Forms of the Tubercle Bacillus  In a lecture at the Academia Nacional de Medicina of Rio de Janeiro, Dr. A. Fontes presented the results of his studies on the saprophytism of the tubercle bacillus. The first case reported by the author is that of a young man who had had renal tuberculosis since childhood. The patient's urine contained for many years a large number of tubercle bacilli, as was shown by microscopic examination. Injection of the urine into guinea-pigs caused the development of a fatal generalized tuberculosis, thus proving the virulence of the bacillus. However, the author's patient had a normal development through adolescence and puberty and he is now apparently healthy. Thus the tubercle bacillus in this case is a saprophyte in the patient's organism, but it is always virulent in the organism of the guinea-pig. The second case reported by the author is that of a patient

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