The cause of smallpox and vaccinia has not been satisfactorily demonstrated as yet. The most recent investigations in this field are those of Funck. of Brussels, whose results have attracted considerable notice, the organisms described having been used by Gaylord, for instance, as prototypes of the protozoon of cancer that he claims to have discovered. Funck,1 in his last article, attempts to show that he has fulfilled all the requirements necessary to prove that variola and vaccinia are caused by the same parasitic protozoon. In the first place he develops the fact that vaccine, at first usually rich in bacteria, eventually undergoes a process of self-sterilization, retaining, however, its power to produce typical vaccine pustules. Hence, he concludes that the active agent in vaccine lymph is probably not a bacterium.
This conclusion remains open to the criticism, however, that the active properties may be of bacterial origin. When lymph
FUNCK'S SPORIDIUM VACCINALE.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(9):582–583. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470350038005
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