The virulence in the guinea-pig of tubercle bacilli isolated before treatment from South Indian patients with pulmonary tuberculosis: homogeneity of the investigation and a critique of the virulence test
Mitchison, D.A.; Bhatia, A.L.; Radhakrishnan, S.; Selkon, J.B.; Subbiah, T.V. and Wallace, J.G. (1962) The virulence in the guinea-pig of tubercle bacilli isolated before treatment from South Indian patients with pulmonary tuberculosis: homogeneity of the investigation and a critique of the virulence test. Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, 9 (2). pp. 71-98.
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A series of studies on the virulence in the guinea-pig of tubercle bacilli isolated before treat-ment from Indian tuberculous patients admitted to a controlled comparison of different regimens of domiciliary chemotherapy has recently been undertaken by the Tuberculosis Chemotherapy Centre, Madras. The main object of these studies was to determine whether the differences in virulence of the tubercle bacilli obtained from Indian patients before the start of chemotherapy were related to the severity or type of the patients’ disease at that time and to the subsequent response to treatment. Before these relationships could be investigated, however, it was necessary to find out whether the results of the virulence tests, which were carried out over a period of two-and-a-half years at the Centre and at the Microbiological Research Establishment, Porton, England, could be considered as a unified whole—that is, as if they had all been done on the same day in the same laboratory. A proportion of the cultures was stored at —20°C for 44-78 weeks, but this did not affect their virulence. Inter-experimental variation was found to be small in the Porton series of tests and undetectable in the Madras series, and the results in the latter series could be successfully adjusted to those in the former by allowing for differences in the means and standard deviations of the distributions for the two series. The measure of virulence used was found to be reasonably acceptable for the analysis of variance technique. Suggestions are made as to ways of improving the efficiency of the experimental design in future studies.
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