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September 2, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(10):718-719. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510100052006

Recent medical literature contains numerous reports of the presence of fusiform bacilli commonly associated with long spirilla on various inflammatory and necrotic processes. In 1893, Rauchfus observed this symbiosis in ulceromembranous angina. In 1896, Vincent, who has made many reports of these organisms, described their presence in hospital gangrene and also in a form of ulcerative angina, since then often spoken of as Vincent's angina. Bernheim noted the presence of the same bacteria in stomatitis. Since then numerous corroborative observations have appeared from various parts of the world, thus indicating that these organisms are distributed widely. Indeed, the fusiform bacillus appears to be a normal inhabitant of the buccal cavity, and it is assumed by Vincent and others that it assumes a pathogenic rôle under special conditions only, more particularly lowered general vitality from all causes and other microbic lesions. Spirilla have been found in healthy mouths also and on