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April 23, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(17):460-462. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391420012002

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The Toxicity of the Cholera Bacilli and the Treatment of Cholera.  —Much in the course of cholera, especially in foudryante cases, points to the toxic action of the bacilli. The poison may be derived from the vegetative activity of the comma bacilli, may be a ptomaine that has been formed in the intestinal canal, or it may be secreted by the bacilli, or the bacilli in themselves may be poisonous, those that have perished in the intestinal canal being di gested and acting in the manner of poisonous mushrooms. To determine upon what this toxic action depended Cantani, of Naples, by boiling sterilized a three-days pure culture of comma bacilli and injected it into the peritoneum and the subcutaneous tissue of dogs. The animals sickened with symptoms of cholera and recovered in twenty-four hours. Control injections of sterilized meat-broth gave negative results. The older the culture the less poisonous was

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