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Article
June 25, 1955

ENTEROTOXIN PRODUCED BY MICROCOCCI FROM CASES OF ENTERITIS AFTER ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY

JAMA. 1955;158(8):649-650. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960080025006a
Abstract

Attention has been called by a number of investigators to the predominance of micrococci in the intestinal tract of patients exhibiting varying degrees of enteritis and colitis after antibiotic therapy. The symptoms were strikingly like those of micrococcic food poisoning, and in several cases studied bacteriologically the normal intestinal flora appeared to be replaced by micrococci. In a few cases micrococci were predominant in other body sites but not in the stool cultures. The enteritis cases were unlike micrococcic food poisoning (with its low mortality rate) in that the vomiting and diarrhea were sometimes followed by fatal circulatory collapse. At necropsy in some fatal cases, a pseudomembranous enteritis was observed and in stained preparations of the membranes and surrounding tissues micrococci were the predominant micro-organisms.

Victims of micrococcic food poisoning usually receive a single dose of enterotoxin that was produced by micrococci growing in the food prior to its ingestion.

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