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Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

CHAPTER   IV.
SYPHIUS.

ALTHOUGH syphilis is almost as well known as it is
widespread, we have not yet discovered for it a definite
specific cause. Whether it is due to a protozoan par-
asite, or whether it is due to a bacterium, the future
must decide. Numerous claims have been made by those
whose studies have revealed organisms of one kind or
another in syphilitic tissues, but no one has yet suc-
ceeded either in isolating, cultivating, or successfully in-
oculating them.

In 1884 and 1885, Lustgarten published a method for
the staining of bacilli which he had found in syphilitic
tissues and assumed to be the cause of the disease. The
staining, which is very complicated, requires that the
sections of tissue be stained in Ehrlich's anilin-water
gentian-violet solution for twelve to twenty-four hours at
the temperature of the room, or for two hours at 40 C.;
washed for a few minutes in absolute alcohol; then im-
mersed for about ten seconds in a i ]/% per cent, perman-
ganate-of-potassium solution, after which they are placed
in an aqueous solution of sulphurous acid for one to two
seconds, thoroughly washed in water, run through alco-
hol and oil of cloves, and finally mounted in Canada
balsam dissolved in xylol.

If the bacilli are supposed to be present in pus or dis-
charges from syphilitic lesions, the cover-glasses spread
with the material are stained in the same manner, except
that for the first washing distilled water instead of abso-
lute alcohol is used.

This method undergoes a modification in the hands of
De Giacomi, who prefers to stain the cover-glasses in hot

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