Pellagra.—By VICTOR BABES and V. SION. XXIV. Volume; II. Part; III. Fascicle in Nothnagel's Compendium of Special Pathology and Therapy; with nine photographs and two plates. 87 pages.
Vienna, 1901. Alfred Holder.
In the countries of Southern Europe, South America and Africa, pellagra is a well-known disease. The writers consider the disease not only from its medical, but also from its social and economic standpoint. Inhabitants of countries where maize is used as the main article of food are mostly the victims of pellagra; and the cause does not lie in maize in itself, but in the prolonged use of a spoiled grain which did not have time to ripen and dry well. The writers do not accept the opinion of some observer that maize is not a proper article of food; quite the contrary; they consider that ripe and well-dried maize answers all requirements for a popular food. Various kinds of bacteria have their abode in spoiled maize, and they and their toxins are the direct cause of pellagra. This was proven by injecting the substance extracted from spoiled maize into animals, in which later pellagra developed. They also proved that the blood of pellagrous patients contains a substance which counteracts the action of the toxins of spoiled maize.