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November 16, 1946


JAMA. 1946;132(11):646-647. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870460036014

During 1943 and 1944 studies on the transmissibility of primary atypical pneumonia were conducted on a group of conscientious objectors. The purpose of the studies was to determine whether atypical pneumonia could be transmitted with secretions of the respiratory tract of patients, whether the disease so produced resembled the naturally acquired infection and, finally, whether the disease could be induced by bacteria-free filtrates. Three groups of experiments were conducted, the first in October 1943 and the second and third during the summer of 1944.

The results of the second two experiments have been recently summarized in a series of reports1 emanating from the Commission on Acute Respiratory Diseases. In the first of these, 36 men between the ages of 19 and 45 were selected after clinical and roentgenographic examination had shown that they were free from organic or infectious disease. All the volunteers were isolated and observed for three