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October 12, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXV(15):609-610. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430410009001b

In order to arrive at any just conception of the subject, attention must be directed to the entire alimentary canal, as well as to milk, the staple food of infancy and childhood. A straight almost indifferentiated tube swarms from mouth to arms, with facultative, obligate, saprophytic and pathogenic germs. Milk, particularly during the heated term, is fertile soil for various fermentations, microbic contamination, and the exogenous as well as endogenous development of toxins. An unclean mouth, a slight error in diet, constitutional taint, immature sensitive cellular metabolism invite these germs to unusual lodgment and activity.

Their great number and variety exclude a specific relation to the particular disease manifestations under consideration. The question resolves itself into a discussion of the toxemic, septicemic or pyemic genesis of the several morbid gastro-intestinal disturbances, in which not one or a few, but many and various microorganisms play a part.

Escherich long since proved