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An Institutional Outbreak of Poliomyelitis Apparently Due to a Streptococcus in Milk

Edward C. Rosenow
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 50, No. 5/6 (May - Jun., 1932), pp. 377-425
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30083744
Page Count: 49
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An Institutional Outbreak of Poliomyelitis Apparently Due to a Streptococcus in Milk
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Abstract

A study of an epidemic of acute poliomyelitis at a midwestern college is reported. A pleomorphic streptococcus having a peculiar infecting power, specific immunologic properties and characteristic cataphoretic velocity was isolated from the throats and spinal fluid in frank and abortive cases, from the throats of a large proportion of well students and from the milk of healthy cows in the dairy at the time of the epidemic, but not after the epidemic had subsided and not at the time of the epidemic or later from the throats of student volunteers, or from the milk supply at a neighboring, unaffected college. The epidemic was traced to raw milk from which large numbers of the "poliomyelitis" streptococci were isolated. New cases abruptly ceased to occur after the use of the raw milk was discontinued. There occurred a marked reduction of positive skin reactions to the "poliomyelitis" streptococcus during convalescence, and in the well students, especially males, six weeks after the epidemic had subsided, whereas the incidence remained the same in the students at the unaffected college at the time of the epidemic and six weeks later. The serum of persons who reacted negatively to intradermal injections of the "poliomyelitis" streptococcus, irrespective of whether they had had poliomyelitis, and the poliomyelitis antistreptococcus serum used in treatment neutralized the toxigenic substance to a greater degree than the serum of persons who reacted positively and the serum of the normal horse. The serum from the convalescents and that from persons who had had poliomyelitis a long time before had a more marked specific potential-lowering effect on the "poliomyelitis" streptococcus than the serum of persons who had not had poliomyelitis. The poliomyelitis antistreptococcus serum seemingly had a beneficial action in the treatment of the patients.

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