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March 6, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(10):837. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940440035013

Diarrhea in infancy is still an important cause of death in the first few weeks of life and is the scourge of hospital nurseries. In addition to the causes that have long been recognized, a great mass of evidence has been accumulating in recent years that would indicate that although most strains of Escherichia coli are harmless there are strains (notably 0111 and 055; others less frequently) that may cause severe diarrhea in infants and adults and in infants may even cause death.1 This evidence at first was based on the finding that one of these strains predominated in the stools of the affected infants but not in those unaffected; that an outbreak coincided with the introduction into a nursery of organisms of the serogroups 0111 (or 055, 026, etc.) and ceased with the disappearance of this strain from the nursery. It is a characteristic of this disease that

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