The medical literature of the past twenty years contains numerous reports designating the Welch bacillus as a factor in the etiology of various pathologic conditions, both clinical and experimental. The most recent are the reports of Andrews, Rewbridge and Hrdina, who contended that the Welch bacillus is the cause of death following the intraperitoneal introduction of various sterile preparations of liver and of bile salts. These investigators made their observations on dogs and concluded that the Welch bacillus is a normal inhabitant of dog tissue. In view of the fact that these observations resulted from experimental work on liver autolysis, a brief review of the literature is indicated.
Mann1 in his studies on the effect of hepatectomy in the dog observed that if a small piece of the liver was allowed to remain in the peritoneal cavity the animal died much sooner than if the liver was entirely removed.
TRUSLER HM, REEVES JR, MARTIN HE. SIGNIFICANCE OF ANAEROBIC ORGANISMS IN PERITONITIS DUE TO LIVER AUTOLYSIS: A BACTERIOLOGIC STUDY OF THE PERITONEAL EXUDATES. Arch Surg. 1935;30(3):371–393. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180090002001
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