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November 1992


Author Affiliations

Clinical Professor of Genito-Urinary Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(11):1570. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680210150033

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RECENTLY a number of infants were brought to the Children's Hospital, suffering from vulvo-vaginitis, acute in type, chronic in course and exhibiting on microscopic examination of the discharge abundant gonococci. The etiology of most of these cases was exceeding obscure. In some it seemed well nigh impossible that the children could have acquired the disease by contagion.

Not only did the micro-organisms correspond in grouping, size and appearance to the gonococci, but reaction to coloring agents was the same. On being stained with aniline dyes, placed in Gram's solution and then decolorized in alcohol they disappeared, leaving still visible a number of other micro-organisms, particularly long and short bacilli.

The question at once suggested itself, and this in medico-legal cases is one of supremest importance, as to whether these micro-organisms, which were in all physical characteristics identical with the gonococcus, were in reality different in their pathogenic properties.

Whether or not we are able, under all circumstances, to decide that a discharge from the genito-urinary mucous membrane is gonorrhoeal in its nature from the fact that micro-organisms offering the physical attributes of the gonococci are discovered, must be considered still sub judice.

J Cutan Genito-Urin Dis.

November 1892;10:415-427.

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