Hemoglobinuric Fever: Is it an Allergic Phenomenon?

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  • Department of Pathology, Marquette University Medical School

Blackwater fever remains the one outstanding tropical malady the etiology of which is still in doubt, since the cause and prevention of practically all other diseases typical of the tropical belt have been elucidated in the triumphant conquest of those lands by modern medical science.

During a tropical practice of five years in the Magdalena river valley of Colombia the writer treated 52 cases of hemoglobinuric fever and had the privilege of observing at least an equivalent number of such patients of other physicians. In this paper it is proposed to review the various theories of the etiology of the disease advanced by numerous investigators and submit evidence to support the present author's thesis that blackwater fever is essentially of allergic origin (23).


The specific theory Craig (18) has presented in favor of the specific origin of the disease the fact that the geographical distribution suggests an insect vector or other specific favorable condition for its propagation.