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July 1938


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Institute of Ophthalmology, Presbyterian Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;20(1):16-18. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850190028002

In 1933 Busacca1 reported the finding of minute bodies which he believed were rickettsias in conjunctival epithelial cells and in the mononuclear cells of trachoma follicles. Similar findings were later reported by Cuénod and Nataf ,2 Poleff3 and Foley and Parrot,4 but unlike Busacca, these investigators identified the bodies with the elementary and initial bodies of the epithelial cell inclusion (Halberstädter and Prowazek). Complicating this interpretation, however, was the fact that they described the bodies as occurring abundantly in the follicles (both free and in the cytoplasm of mononuclear cells), a site at which the inclusion bodies have never been known to occur.

In the course of my studies on the epithelial cell inclusion body of trachoma, a large number of preparations from epithelial scrapings stained by Giemsa's method and expressed follicular material were examined for micro-organisms of the Rickettsia group. Except for the elementary and