IN 1882 Friedländer 1 isolated a gram-negative bacillus from the lungs of eight patients and postulated that this organism, which has since borne his name, was the cause of lobar pneumonia. The bacteriologic problem initiated by this discovery was finally resolved in 1886, when Weichselbaum2 implicated the Diplococcus pneumoniae and relegated the Friedländer bacillus to a less prominent place in the etiology of pneumonia. The latter, however, was still regarded primarily as a pulmonary pathogen.
The publication over the years of isolated case reports of nonpulmonary infection caused by the Friedländer bacillus did not dislodge the prevailing concept that infections induced by this organism were, in the main, respiratory. In 1937 Baehr, Shwartzman and Greenspan3 reported their experiences with 198 cases of Friedländer infection and challenged this concept by demonstrating a low incidence of respiratory disorders. In only two of their cases did the clinical and bacteriologic studies
OBRINSKY W, DORMONT RE, FOWLER REL, RUHSTALLER F. FRIEDLÄNDER-AEROGENES INFECTIONS IN INFANCY. Am J Dis Child. 1950;80(4):621-657. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1950.04040020633010