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February 1920


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1920;1(2):170-174. doi:10.1001/archderm.1920.02350020053005

The disease of men known as erosive and gangrenous balanitis has been recognized for several years. The same disease occurring in women as erosive and gangrenous vulvitis is not generally recognized.

Three cases of this disease have come under my charge in the Department of Venereal Diseases of the United States Public Health Service. I have successfully isolated the etiologic organisms in each case.

ETIOLOGY  The organisms isolated in each instance were the typical spirochete and vibrio growing in symbiosis as described by Tunnicliffe.The spirochete averages from 5 to 30 microns in length, has very rapid motion, is gram-negative, and takes the ordinary dyes well. It has an especial tendency to grow in the more superficial of the diseased parts.The vibrio, or fusiform bacillus, is about 2 microns in length and 0.8 micron in width, pointed at each end as one of its names infers. It grows singly