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April 16, 1904

The Common House Fly as a Carrier of Typhoid.

JAMA. 1904;XLII(16):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490610044019

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Chicago, March 29, 1904.

To the Editor:  —In The Journal, March 10, 1903, I published the report of certain investigations carried on in the Memorial Institue for Infectious Diseases, which apparently showed that the bacillus of typhoid fever could be found on the legs of flies which had visited vaults containing typhoid discharges. The organisms which were isolated, five in number, corresponded morphologically and culturally with the bacillus of Eberth and also were agglutinated by the serum of a rabbit immunized against the latter. The weak link in the chain of evidence, however, was the fact that agglutination could not be obtained in dilutions higher than 1-200. It is true that two control organisms, isolated from the blood of typhoid patients, also failed to agglutinate in higher dilutions, but the opinion generally held now, that it is only sera of high potency which will serve to differentiate the typhoid bacillus

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