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September 16, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;113(12):1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800370050017

RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF DIPHTHERIA  The contagious nature of diphtheria, as well as the prognostic significance of the time of administration of antitoxin, necessitates strenuous efforts at early diagnosis. A promising development in this direction was reported by Manzulla in 1938, who described a method for the diagnosis of diphtheria by which the diphtheria bacillus could be cultured in three hours and a macroscopic and microscopic diagnosis of the colonies made at the same time. He used a mixture prepared with 15 cc. of meat broth with peptone, 1.5 cc. of defibrinated ox blood and 1.5 cc. of a 2 per cent solution of potassium tellurite. The pharyngeal exudate was collected with a cotton swab and moistened with 2 cc. of the liquid mixture, placed in a test tube and left for three hours at a temperature of from 36 to 38 C. Small characteristic black colonies could be observed in