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June 18, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Health.

JAMA. 1938;110(25):2069-2070. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.62790250004008d

Following the recognition of a disease characterized by fever and jaundice by Weil in 1886, series of similar cases were reported by other investigators. Inada and Ido and their associates1 in 1914 described the same malady as it occurred in Japan, and after careful investigation these workers concluded that the etiologic agent was a spirochete. Other cases were reported by workers from England, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Particular attention in most of these reports is directed to the significantly high incidence of the disease among soldiers in trenches.

Noguchi2 in 1917 described the organism isolated in cases of jaundice in greater detail. He classified it a Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae. In a later publication of his studies he reported finding virulent strains of Leptospira in carcasses of rats trapped in New York. These organisms were found to be pathogenic to guinea pigs and agreed in immunity and agglutination reactions