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May 21, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(21):1754. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790210034012

The recent isolation of the virus of poliomyelitis from human feces1 is presumably additional evidence that viable virus can pass through the gastrointestinal tract. There is as yet no experimental evidence that this virus proliferates in the intestine. Nevertheless, identification of the virus in human stools suggests that certain precautions should be taken that are now generally considered unnecessary.

Following the successful transmission of poliomyelitis to monkeys, tests were made as early as 1912 of the infectivity of fecal poliomyelitic material. Kling, Pettersson and Wernstedt2 of Stockholm, Sweden, reported the successful inoculation of monkeys by the intracerebral injection of colonic washings from infants during both the acute and the convalescent period of infantile paralysis. This result was confirmed three years later by Sawyer.3 Since lethal paralytic effects can be produced by control intracerebral injection of normal fecal extracts, this earlier apparently successful isolation and identification of the