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February 1939


Author Affiliations

With the Technical Assistance of Nancy Roberts NEW YORK
From the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Institute of Ophthalmology, Presbyterian Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1939;21(2):229-234. doi:10.1001/archopht.1939.00860020033002

The trachoma virus is not yet known with certainty to have been grown in tissue culture. The experiments of Rumyantsev and Levkoeva,1 of Schmidt2 and of Harrison and Julianelle3 were unsuccessful. Poleff4 reported finding in cultures of trachomatous tissues rickettsia-like bodies which he considered to be the causal agent, but he failed to demonstrate infectivity of the cultures by inoculation of the monkey or human conjunctiva. In view of the probable nonspecific nature of these rickettsia-like bodies, which I5 believe to have been cellular débris, it seems probable that Poleff failed to cultivate the agent. More recently, Rötth,6 in a report before the Fifteenth International Ophthalmologic Congress at Cairo, Egypt, stated that he had obtained Halberstädter-Prowazek inclusion bodies in a single culture of human fetal conjunctival epithelium inoculated with an Elford filtrate of trachomatous material. Before drawing conclusions as to the value of this

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