In the classic description of bacillary dysentery found in the textbooks on bacteriology and pathology, the statement is usually made that bacteremia due to Bacillus dysenteriae does not occur. As late as 1936, Topley and Wilson1 made this statement concerning B. dysenteriae: "This organism, unlike Bacillus typhosus, does not invade the blood stream and cannot therefore be cultured from the blood." However, Rothman2 reviewed the literature on this subject in 1936 and discovered that antemortem bacteremia due to B. dysenteriae has been found and reported in 16 cases. He added an additional case of his own. The organism has also been cultured at autopsy from the blood, the liver and the spleen and in several instances from the mesenteric lymph nodes.
Many investigators have undertaken to secure routine blood cultures in cases of bacillary dysentery. Duval3 reported 43 cases of Shiga dysentery with negative blood cultures, but
DODD K, SWANSON H. DYSENTERIC BACTEREMIAWITH A REPORT OF THREE CASES. Am J Dis Child. 1938;56(5):1082–1085. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980170128016
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