The rapid increase of our knowledge of infectious diseases since the middle of the last century, together with the recent advances in laboratory methods, particularly in bacteriologic and histologic technic, has had a profound influence on the accuracy of medical and surgical diagnosis.
Tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever, anthrax, actinomycosis, diphtheria, bubonic plague, pneumonia, bacillary dysentery, and various forms of primary and secondary wound and other infections, among the bacterial diseases; trichinosis, pébrine, malaria, amebic dysentery, filariasis, trypanosomiasis, and various forms of helminthiasis, among the diseases caused by animal parasites, may be enumerated as examples of infectious diseases for the diagnosis of which laboratory methods are in constant use. In short it may be said that, as soon as the parasitic origin of a disease is established, the demonstration of the presence of the causal agent is used as the basis of exact diagnosis. Laboratory methods are also availed of in
HOWARD WT. THE APPLICATION OF LABORATORY METHODS TO THE DIAGNOSIS OF VARIOLA. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(14):1095–1098. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500410019001e
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