Scleroma(redirected from respiratory scleroma)
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a chronic infectious disease of the human respiratory tract. The causative agent is the Frisch-Volkovich bacillus, named for the Austrian bacteriologist A. R. von Frisch, who discovered it in 1882, and the Russian scientist N. M. Volkovich, who isolated a pure culture of the bacteria in 1888. The bacillus enters the nasal mucosa and then the larynx and trachea, giving rise to the formation of thick infiltrates. The initial stages of scleroma are marked by dryness in the nose and the formation of crusts. Affectation of the larynx results in persistent hoarseness; breathing gradually becomes more difficult owing to the increase of the infiltrates. The nasal cavity may become obstructed, and the lumina of the larynx and trachea severely constricted. It is not known how infection with scleroma takes place; direct transmission from one person to another has not been established. There is no specific treatment. Antibiotics and X-ray therapy yield favorable results.