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Article
October 31, 1925

THE DIARRHEAS OF INFANTS

JAMA. 1925;85(18):1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670180056016
Abstract

Although the manifestations of the diarrheas of infancy have long been recognized in medical practice and can in most instances be treated with success, the pathogenesis or etiology of such alimentary disturbances remains the subject of uncertainty and debate. For frank bacillary dysentery there is, of course, evidence to incriminate special intestinal invaders; yet the harm that they initiate can be described better in general terms than in specific references to disarranged gastro-intestinal functions. Lack of the "physiologic antiseptic" of the alimentary tract—the gastric juice— or reduced acidity of this secretion has in particular been incriminated in the past. Davison's1 recent observations at the Johns Hopkins Hospital showed practically no difference in the reaction or cultures of the gastric contents of normal infants and of those convalescent from diarrhea. Streptococci and gram-negative cocci, which are mouth organisms, were more often found, as might be expected, in gastric specimens containing

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