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Article
July 8, 1911

CULTIVATION OF PATHOGENIC TREPONEMA PALLIDUM

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Laboratories of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

JAMA. 1911;LVII(2):102. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260070106005

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Abstract

Although several investigators (Scherschewsky, Mühlens and Hoffmann) have secured cultures of certain spirochetes, no one has yet been able to establish them as being undoubted examples of Treponema pallidum (Spirochœta pallida). In some instances, the morphologic features of the organisms in the cultures were indentical with those present in syphilitic lesions in man, yet they never caused lesions when inoculated into animals. In two exceptional instances, Bruckner and Galasesco, in 1910, and Sowade, in 1911, reported that they had succeeded in reproducing syphilitic lesions in the rabbit by the injection of "impure cultures." But as these "cultures" still contained the original syphilitic tissue used for inoculation, and as a second growth (generation) of the spirochetes could not be obtained, it remained an open question whether the lesions were due actually to the cultivated spirochetes or whether they were simply produced by the original spirochetes that had survived.

METHOD OF CULTIVATION 

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