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October 1949


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;84(4):605-631. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00230040084006

CERTAIN anaerobic, nonsporing, gram-negative bacilli are classified in the genus Bacteroides.1 (Excluded from this designation are the genera Dialister and Fusiformis, the former being characterized by small size and the latter by pointed ends.) These organisms are saprophytic inhabitants of the intestine, the urinary tract, the pharynx and the female genital tract.2 Comparatively few studies of infections induced by Bacteroides have been reported in this country. The impression prevails, therefore, that it is a rare, even exotic, cause of human disease. This report is concerned with the clinical importance of Bacteroides in a group of cases in which this organism was recovered.

Dack's comprehensive survey3 may be consulted for a review of the morphology, taxonomy, biochemical reactions and antigenic characteristics of Bacteroides. "Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology"1 presents a detailed, but provisional, classification of this group of bacteria. A number of provocative studies purporting to demonstrate