P. G. Shute Malaria Reference Laboratory Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey, England

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To the Editor:

I was very much interested to read Dr. Marsden's letter in the July number of your Journal (19: 740) regarding post-mortem material, especially brain, of suspected malaria from fatal cases where, from religious or other reasons, permission for a postmortem cannot be obtained.

Dr. Marsden describes his technique of using a Vim Silverman needle and passing it under the upper lid over the globe of the eye and piercing the anterior fossa several times, to obtain samples of brain tissue. It may interest your readers to know that I saw this operation carried out several times by Professor Dionisi while working in Rome over 40 years ago and in the presence of that great Italian malariologist Professor Marchiafava and the American malariologist Dr. Lewis W. Hackett of The Rockefeller Foundation.

Dionisi used a cobbler's needle, i.e., for sewing sacks, sails, etc.

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