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November 2, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(18):1531. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530180049006

It is well known that one of the natural habitats of the tetanus bacillus is the digestive tract of horses, and probably of other herbivorous animals; some investigators have found tetanus bacilli in as high a proportion as 50 per cent, of samples of fecal matter from horses. These bacilli are probably obtained by the animals from their food, for it has been shown that tetanus spores in a viable condition may be present on hay and grass. Less well known is the fact that the feces of normal men may contain tetanus bacilli or spores, but Pizzini found that no less than 5 per cent, of specimens of human feces from different individuals will produce tetanus when injected into susceptible animals.

The source of these tetanus bacilli found in human excreta seems to be in uncooked vegetable food, for Rabinowitsch1 has been able to demonstrate the presence of

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