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January 1, 1929


Arch Surg. 1929;18(1_PART_II):516-519. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.04420020338021

The literature on pulmonary suppuration and pulmonary gangrene up to 1920, although voluminous, is extremely indefinite as to the rôle which anaerobic organisms might play in the etiology of these diseases. Since that time, an increasing number of articles have appeared in which the authors mention the possible etiologic importance of these organisms as the causative agents in these conditions. Since 1921, several authors have mentioned the constant presence of anaerobes in suppuration of the lungs; in one series of operative cases, they were the only organisms found in eight of ten instances in which pus was removed from the abscess cavity.

Although heated controversies have been waged, especially in France, and voluminous theoretical discussions have been reported about the significance of the various groups of anaerobes which are found in the sputum of patients suffering from these diseases, it is surprising how little experimental work has been done, and