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August 6, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(6):406-407. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500060042006

In current bacteriologic literature, a distinction is commonly made between the so-called extracellular toxins and the intracellular or endotoxins. The former designation is given to those toxins that are found in the culture medium in which the specific bacillus is growing. The diphtheria and tetanus toxins are familiar examples of this class, and together with these is reckoned the toxin of B. botulinus, and also, according to the recent researches of Grassberger and Schattenfroh, the toxin formed by the bacillus of symptomatic anthrax. These "true toxins," as they are sometimes called, can be readily obtained in germ-free solution by simple filtration of suitable fluid cultures. It has not yet been shown, however, that the great majority of pathogenic bacteria generate toxins separable by filtration from the cells that produce them, and in the case of some of the longest known and best studied microorganisms the demonstration of any specific toxin