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May 29, 1915


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Illinois.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(22):1814-1818. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570480010004

The hemoglobinophilic bacteria comprise a rather large group of bacilli which grow only in an artificial medium containing hemoglobin. This group does not include the many bacteria that, while growing better in mediums containing blood or blood serum, will also grow in mediums not containing hemoglobin. Its representative organism and by far its most important member is Pfeiffer's bacillus (B. influenzae), which was discovered by Pfeiffer in the respiratory tract of patients afflicted with influenza during the great pandemic, in 1889-1890. Not only did he discover and isolate this organism at that time, but he definitely proved its hemoglobinophilic character, a property of bacteria hitherto unknown. In his classical paper1 in which he reported these researches he also described other organisms differing in certain respects from the true influenza bacilli but similar in being hemoglobinophilic. These he called pseudo-influenza bacilli. Since then these pseudo forms, which have also come to

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