The Widal test is conceded by certain investigators to be a highly important procedure in the diagnosis of infection due to Shigella dysenteriae.1 Agglutination of any of this group of organisms by the serum of a patient is said to warrant the diagnosis of past or present dysentery or of prophylactic vaccination, provided living antigens are not used in the performance of the test. Interpretation of the test is subject to certain well recognized sources of error. Healthy persons frequently possess normal agglutinins for S.dysenteriae.2 The origin of these antibodies is uncertain. The responsible antigens are not known.3 According to Arkwright4 the agglutinins usually are not demonstrable in dilutions above 1: 100. Gardner,5 however, found that serum from normal persons may agglutinate strains of Flexner bacilli in dilutions up to 1: 150. The titer of normal agglutinins is said to be raised by such varied
MACKIE TT. SPECIFICITY OF THE AGGLUTININ REACTION FOR SHIGELLA DYSENTERIAE: I. AGGLUTINATION REACTION IN CHRONIC BACILLARY DYSENTERY; A SEROLOGIC AND BACTERIOLOGIC STUDY OF FORTY-SEVEN CASES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1938;62(5):783–798. doi:10.1001/archinte.1938.00180160062005
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