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Auto-infection is not altogether a new subject, yet it has remained for modern bacteriology and chemistry to demonstrate its relation to, and importance in, the production of disease; and, today no subject commands greater interest or demands more serious thought and careful study, because when more thoroughly understood it will be found to be at the root and foundation of many of the so-called reflex and other obscure diseases. There are many sources of auto-intoxication, but this paper deals more especially with that variety of infection caused by the absorption of toxic substances generated within the alimentary canal by chemic, putrefactive or fermentative changes or bacterial development, aided and influenced by the existence of a pathologic condition of the rectum and contiguous structures.
That I may more clearly elucidate the subject, it will be necessary to call attention to the fact that the physiologic processes of the abdominal and pelvic
PENNINGTON JR. DISEASES OF THE RECTUM AS A CAUSE OF AUTO-INFECTION, WITH REPORT OF CASES.. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(5):207-209. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440050015001c