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May 4, 1946


Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore.

JAMA. 1946;131(1):60. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870180062020

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To the Editor:—  In the February 9 issue of The Journal Henry M. Benning, in his paper on "Chronic Brucellosis," presents the totally unfounded thesis that a positive skin test to brucellergen indicates active infection with the disease. This conclusion will certainly be challenged by many students in this field who feel that the intradermal test indicates only skin sensitization to a brucella antigen. An unequivocal diagnosis of brucellosis is dependent on isolation of the causative organism in culture. Many observers feel that a rapidly rising titer of specific agglutinins in the blood is strong presumptive evidence of active infection. The mere presence of positive agglutinins in relatively low titer, or of a positive skin test, or of a high opsonocytophagic index is totally inadequate in establishing a definite diagnosis of the disease.The incidence of positive skin tests to various brucella antigens, and of positive agglutinations for Brucella abortus,

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