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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 23, 2011

Daring Experiment of a Physician on Himself with Typhoid Bacilli

JAMA. 2011;305(8):834. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.91-b

Medical News


(From Our Regular Correspondent)
LONDON, Feb. 11, 1911.

Dr. Houston, director of water examination to the Metropolitan Water Board, has made a daring experiment on himself with typhoid bacilli. He was testing the effect of river water on the vitality of typhoid bacilli which had never been subcultured. He found that the bacilli rapidly perished in Thames water. Although well satisfied with the negative results, he put the matter to the crucial test of drinking half a pint of the infected water (which contained initially 218 million typhoid bacilli) on the twenty-fourth day from the start of the experiment without any ill result. . . .