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February 23, 1952


Author Affiliations

San Antonio, Texas; Detroit
Assistant Professor of Bacteriology, Wayne University, College of Liberal Arts (Dr. Mattman).

JAMA. 1952;148(8):642-643. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.62930080004013b

Rhinoscleroma is not a common disease in the United States, but its study is of interest, since it is a serious progressive infection of disputed etiology.

Rhinoscleroma is widespread throughout Europe,1 Asia,1b and Hawaii.2 The condition is said to be commonest in Central America.3 In the United States and Canada 102 cases had been reported by 1942; only 16 of the patients were native born.4

Rhinoscleroma begins as a nasal catarrh, sometimes with a foul odor, and gradually progresses to a stage characterized by cartilage-like nodules that tend to occlude the nasal passages. Since Frisch5 in 1882 described an encapsulated gram-negative rod as the main cause of rhinoscleroma, there has been much discussion as to the actual significance of the organism. It has been impossible to fulfil Koch's postulates because the Frisch bacillus (now called Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis) has not produced rhinoscleroma when inoculated into

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