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Article
October 14, 1899

THE AMEBA CILIATA IN DISEASE, A NEW THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF SOME OF THE ACUTE INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(16):987. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450680055007

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Abstract

In the New York Medical Journal for September 30 and October 7, there appears a lengthy contribution from Dr. Henry Gereon Graham of Chicago, in which are advocated some novel theories as to the origin of some acute infectious diseases, and he builds on them an ingenious speculative structure. The ameba ciliata which, it is said, occurs in the ordinary drinking water is claimed to be a pathogenic agent of great power and importance, because it may contain in its interior various microbic parasites such as the typhoid bacillus, the bacillus proteus vulgaris, a pathogenic spirillum capable of causing dysentery, the pneumococcus of Fränkel, etc. The type of disease produced by the ameba will therefore depend on the kind of parasite it happens to carry. When thoroughly loaded down, a serious complication of diseases might arise. The tissue or organ invaded also takes part in determining the kind of disease

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