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May 20, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(20):1482-1483. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560200050019

The problem of the intestinal anaerobic bacteria, though one of enormous complexity, has been attacked by many investigators, and results both interesting and valuable have been obtained. Passini1 in a recent article has reviewed some of these, and while space will not permit an enumeration of the various workers, their results are of such interest as to warrant their presentation here.

The meconium of the new-born child, as might be expected, is sterile. But in a few hours, depending largely on the child's environment, microorganisms appear in it, and even among these early invaders anaerobic bacteria take an important part. The gas bacillus (B. welchii) appears to be the most constant and important of these. With the ingestion of mother's milk the intestinal flora alters, the chief anaerobe now present being the so-called Bacillus bifidus, an organism closely akin to, if not identical with, the familiar Oppler-Boas bacillus. Subsequent