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August 18, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(16):1514-1515. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670160056016

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Bacillary dysentery is a disease that has been widely distributed throughout the world from time immemorial. It was known to the ancients, as shown in Hippocrates' "Epidemeion." Until the discovery of the specific causative agent by Shiga in 1898 and Flexner in 1900, very little advance was made in our knowledge of the disease. The greatest progress has been made during the last two decades, particularly in the fields of pathology and bacteriology. For example, patients may have lesions of the intestine at sigmoidoscopy with little or no clinical symptoms and signs. Yet these patients are just as infective as those who are sick. No longer is pathogenicity determined by the particular strain present, of which there are at least 19 different types. The Sonne-Duval bacillus, once regarded as causing a rather benign dysentery in children, may be as virulent as the time-honored Shiga-Kruse infection. Any dysentery strain may play

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