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January 9, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XVIII(2):51-52. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411060021005

This microörganism, originally described by Escherich in 1884, has recently been the subject of much investigation by the French, and although some differences of opinion exist, it seems about to take a somewhat prominent position in pathogenesis. It is a constant inhabitant of the colon, and is particularly prominent in the stools of healthy breastfed infants. In 1890 Rodet and Roux announced that the Eberth bacillus, the supposed cause of typhoid fever, was identical with the bacterium coli commune. This view was strenuously opposed by Chantemesse and Widal, in a communication to the Paris Academie de Medicine.1 Whatever be the merits of this controversy, certain other observations have been made, and not denied, which indicate that this bacillus has a wide range of pathological influence.

Chantemesse, Widal and Legry, in a recent communication,2 record two of their own observations. In the first case, an old man dying in