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Nature volume 113, pages 685690 (10 May 1924) | Download Citation



AT the meeting of the Berlin Mikrobiological Society in the Hygienic Institute of the Veterinary School, Berlin, on April 7, the important announcement was made by Profs. Frosch and Dahnien that they had succeeded in isolating, cultivating, and photographing the long sought-for virus of foot-and-mouth disease. From the short account in the Berliner tierarztliche Wochenschrift (1924, xl. p. 185), just published, their success was primarily due to the fact that, regarding the fluid in the disease blisters as a reaction on the part of the infected animal, they separated the fluid from the virus which it contained by some means which they do not yet publish. In some way, also, Dahmen succeeded in getting the virus to grow on solid media and was able to propagate it in sub-culture through as many as twenty-five generations. With the 13th and 23rd generations of culture, they success fully produced the disease in guinea-pigs. With the sixth sub-culture of another strain a cow was in oculated on the muzzle and after eight days showed salivation. From this animal another cow was in oculated and developed typical foot-and-mouth, disease. Frosch, continuing the account of Dahmen, describes the colonies of the virus as extraordinarily minute with a diameter not greater than that of a human red blood corpuscle (i.e. 7-8,11). Naturally they can only be seen with the microscope, when they appear as rounded or oval masses with a slightly crenated edge. The composition of these colonies as revealed by ultra-photographic methods (cadmium spectrum A275) shows that they are masses of most minute rods, the smallest going to o-iju in length. Many appear to be in pairs. Similar bacilli have been found by the same methods in filtered blister fluid. Provisionally, the authors suggest the name of Loefflena nevermanni. An apology is made for the temporary inability, to publish exact details, as apparently permission has to be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, which gave financial aid to the research. From the experience and reputation of the two German investigators, it is very probable that their results are as stated.

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