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January 1959

The Role of the Streptococcus in the Pathogenesis of Anterior Uveitis

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Post-Graduate Medical School.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;61(1):45-49. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.00940090047006

Anterior, or nongranulomatous, uveitis is generally believed to represent an allergic reaction of the delayed bacterial or tuberculin variety. Woods1 has summarized the evidence for this concept which rests mainly on (1) the experimental production of nongranulomatous uveitis in laboratory animals with various antigens, (2) the clinical evidence that the uvea participates in general systemic hypersensitivity, as in serum sickness, and (3) the absence of any bacteriologic cause, as demonstrated by repeated failures to cultivate organisms from the aqueous during the course of the disease.

Dr. Woods' observations suggest the Streptococcus as the prime etiological antigenic agent in the majority of instances. He bases this view on the following evidence:

First, the evidence of prior infection with the Streptococcus as revealed by the presence of elevated antistreptolysin (ASL) titers in patients with nongranulomatous uveitis. This has been confirmed by Schöne and Steen2 and by Smith and Ashton.3

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