The Identity of Yellow Fever Lesions in Africa and America

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  • Department of Pathology, University of Toronto

There has been much discussion concerning the origin of yellow fever. Some would have it that the disease originated in Africa and was brought to America in the early days of the slave traffic; others have maintained that it existed in America prior to the advent of Columbus, and that with the coming of the European it was carried back and forth between America and the Eastern Hemisphere. At one time there was some doubt as to the identity of American and West African yellow fever; and this doubt was enhanced by the successful cultivation of the Leptospira icteroides by Noguchi from a number of American yellow fever cases, while from West African cases no such organisms could be recovered. In 1926 the Yellow Fever Commission of the Rockefeller Foundation reported completely negative results in bacteriological and serological studies made to determine the relationship of Leptospira to yellow fever cases of West Africa; and at the same time it was intimated that the pathology of the disease in Africa was the same as that found in the American cases.

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