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October 16, 1937

Current Comment

JAMA. 1937;109(16):1283. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780420043015

"MUCIN VIRULENCE" OF HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE  The possibility of increasing the virulence of pneumococci, streptococci, staphylococci or meningococci by suspending these bacteria in 5 per cent gastric mucin was discovered about five years ago by Nungester and his associates.1 Their observations have been confirmed by other investigators.2 Recently Fothergill and his co-workers3 at the department of bacteriology of Harvard Medical School have applied the Nungester technic to a restudy of the toxicity and pathogenicity of the influenza bacillus. They found that it was necessary to inject a 1:4 dilution of a standard suspension of Haemophilus influenzae intraperitoneally into mice to cause death. The same micro-organisms suspended in 5 per cent gastric mucin, however, would kill mice if injected in dilutions as high as 1:40,000. The micro-organisms thus injected rapidly invade the blood stream, about twenty-five micro-organisms (plate count) per drop of tail blood being demonstrable by the end