An investigation of the incidence of erythrasma in a healthy young adult population is described. The axillae, groins and toe-webs were examined and clinical erythrasma, showing characteristic coral-red fluorescence under Wood's light, was found in 19 per cent. of the 754 students, with lesions occurring mainly in the toe-webs. A diphtheroid organism, fluorescing when grown on tissue culture medium no. 199, could be cultured from 42 per cent. of the fluorescent skin areas and from 13 per cent. of apparently healthy, non-fluorescing sites. These organisms were divided into 8 groups on the basis of their reactions in 8 biochemical tests. There did not appear to be one particular group involved with clinical lesions, nor was any one strain predominant among the students and staff of the different colleges visited.


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