In a previous paper, Meleney, Harvey and Jern presented the bacteriologic findings in a series of 106 cases of peritonitis.1 They tried to correlate these findings with the clinical course. One of the most significant points brought out in that study seemed to be the fact that when two or more different species of intestinal organisms were present, the clinical course of the illness was much more serious than when a single species was present. This suggested the advisability of studying the synergistic or antagonistic effect of the organisms commonly found in peritonitis secondary to lesions of the intestine.
It has long been known that the intestinal tract habitually contains a number of different bacterial species that are constantly present from the time of early infancy until death. From time to time other organisms may gain a temporary foothold, but they generally come and go and leave the field