[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(1):64-70. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180180074005

In epidemiologic studies of bacillary dysentery one is often confronted by the problem of why some exposed persons contract the disease while others escape infection. This fact is particularly surprising during outbreaks definitely traceable to a common source, such as contaminated food or water. Although natural or acquired immunity to the disease may be present in isolated instances, it can hardly be the sole explanation, since a low percentage of immunity among exposed persons during epidemics appears to be so general. Moreover, the viability and antigenic specificity of the dysentery organism can often be demonstrated in the contaminated food which has been ingested by affected and by unaffected persons alike. The explanation obviously lies in some protective mechanism of the body, and since the gastric juice offers the first barrier to the swallowed dysentery organisms a study of this factor was undertaken.

The role of the gastric secretion in preventing