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March 21, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(12):959-960. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720380047021

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Experiments with Bacteria on Bullets  For a long time, it was thought that bullets from a revolver, and, especially, projectiles from an army rifle, could not transport infectious germs because the projectile was sterilized by the high temperature to which it was raised by the friction of the air during its transit. Infections found in wounds caused by projectiles were attributed to bits of clothing carried along by the projectile or to germs present on the skin. Dr. Piédelièvre, agrégé professor of legal medicine at the Faculté de Paris, with the collaboration of Dr. Guy, performed a series of experiments, which he reported recently before the Société de médecine légale. They used the bullets of three different types of army rifles and a browning revolver of heavy caliber. The bullets were sterilized in a flame and then covered with a coating of cultures of Bacillus prodigiosus. The barrel of the

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