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May 19, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(3):269-270. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970030087024

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To the Editor:—  In an article entitled "American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas' Disease)" in The Journal, Oct. 15, 1955, page 676, Drs. N. C. and H. B. Woody reported on the first indigenous case of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in man in the United States. They state: "A tentative diagnosis of virus infection of unknown type (possibly infectious mononucleosis) was made, and the child was empirically given tetracycline (Achromycin) while we awaited developments." Subsequently, trypanosomes were found in blood smears from the patient, and their identity with T. cruzi was established. Later, "In view of the report of Porter, based on animal studies, tetracycline therapy was resumed, and the child became afebrile within 48 hours.... While daily checks of the blood continue to show trypanosomes, no hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, or neurological or cardiac abnormalities have developed." This observation not only may be, but already has been, construed by some as an indication that tetracycline

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