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October 8, 1887

ABSTRACT OF A PAPER ON ANTISEPTICS IN MEDICINE AND SURGERY.Read before the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, May 4, 1887.

JAMA. 1887;IX(15):459-461. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400140011001c

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It is no longer an hypothesis, but a scientific fact, clearly and unequivocally established, that certain bacteria are necessary factors in the causation of certain diseases. One question remains only debatable: Which are and which are not germ diseases? It may be debated whether the bacteria and their spores or their poisonous excreta be the actual ma-teries morbi; but this is a question of secondary importance. It is of the very utmost importance to the progress of scientific medicine and surgery that the entire life history of these low organisms should be fully known, to the end that the unscientific rubbish which obscures the subject may be brushed away, and the facts of essential importance brought within reach of the profession in a clear, compact and manageable form. The first essential fact in the natural history of the group is that all these lowly forms belong to the lowest group

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