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May 13, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(19):1535. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500460043008

The agglutination test of serum is now universally employed in all hospitals and to no small degree also in private practice in the diagnosis of typhoid fever and kindred diseases. There are other diseases in which a practicable serum diagnosis would be a welcome addition to our diagnostic armamentarium, e. g., staphylococcus infections. Staphylococci may cause hidden abscesses, acute endocarditis, and peculiar solid chronic inflammatory swellings of bones that often are difficult to distinguish from genuine tumors. Specific agglutinins do not appear to develop to any extent in staphylococcus infections, but it has been shown that all pathogenic staphylococci produce a hemolysin and furthermore, that this lysin is a genuine toxin because it gives rise in animals (including human beings) to an antitoxin.

Bruck, Michaelis and Schultze1 propose to apply the determination of this antilysin to the diagnosis of staphylococcus diseases. They assume that in every staphylococcus infection there

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