In the Nov. 19, 1938, issue of the Lancet there appeared a summary of a report by Dr. Alfred Manzulla1 of Buenos Aires concerning his experience with a rapid clinical test for diphtheria. The test was performed as follows: A cotton swab saturated with a 2 per cent aqueous solution of potassium tellurite2 was applied to the suggestive exudate in the throat; after about ten minutes the area thus treated was inspected. Only those exudates due to infection with Corynebacterium diphtheriae turned black at the site of application of potassium tellurite. Manzulla found that in forty patients with throat exudate cultures of which showed C. diphtheriae the rapid tellurite test was positive in thirty-seven. Of thirty-five patients cultures of whose throat exudate showed no C. diphtheriae, none gave a positive tellurite test.
During the months of January and February 1939 this test has been applied to the exudate
Fox WW, Rhoads PS, Lack H. EXPERIENCE WITH A RAPID CLINICAL TEST FOR DIPHTHERIA (MANZULLA). JAMA. 1939;113(8):675–676. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800330005010c
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