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February 1939


Author Affiliations

From the Oto-Laryngological Service, New York City Hospital, Welfare Island, Department of Hospitals, New York.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1939;29(2):235-251. doi:10.1001/archotol.1939.00650050255003

HISTORY  Sixty years ago (in 1877), Bollinger and his botanist colleague Harz discovered and named the ray fungus, or Actinomyces bovis, the cause of a disease of cattle known as lumpy jaw, characterized by the formation of a hard, boardlike swelling of the tongue or a fusiform enlargement of the jaw. In the following year Israel described a similar mycotic disease in man, and in 1879 Ponfick suggested that the two diseases were identical. However, in 1891 Bostroem demonstrated the aerobic peculiarity of the organism found in 7 cases of actinomycosis in cattle, and coincidentally Israel and Wolff called attention to the anaerobic charcateristic of a similar branching organism isolated in 2 cases of the disease in man.Organisms resembling Actinomyces have been isolated in several diseases. The fungus causing Madura foot, reported by Carter in 1874, was cultivated by Vincent in 1894 and shown to be an anaeobic branching,

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