One of the strains of Bacterium granulosis isolated by Noguchi in 1926 has been maintained in culture and in monkeys and continues to be capable, after 3 years, of inducing a chronic granular conjunctivitis in monkeys. Cultures of this strain have been recovered from the monkey lesions as late as 3 years after inoculation and have been shown to reproduce the granular disease in monkeys.
Six additional strains of Bacterium granulosis have been isolated from cases of trachoma occurring in the Indian schools of Arizona. The cultures thus obtained are identical morphologically and culturally with those isolated by Noguchi and have induced the same chronic granular conjunctivitis in monkeys. Advanced untreated cases are more favorable for cultural study than treated cases.
Cultures of Bacterium granulosis kept on semisolid medium containing 10 per cent rabbit serum ("leptospira medium") remain viable for many months at room temperature, and sealed ampoules of such cultures have been found to retain their pathogenicity for the monkey conjunctiva for at least 69 days at room temperature and at least 284 days at 4° to 6°C.
Several additional cultural and biological characteristics of Bacterium granulosis have been described. Of outstanding importance is the fact that cocaine, in contradistinction to novocain, has a bactericidal effect on the organism. This fact, in view of the common use of cocaine for anesthesia, may explain the negative results of cultivation experiments reported by some workers.