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Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

24                   PA THOGENIC BA CTERIA.

places, that certain minute animals breed [there] which
are invisible to the eye, and yet, getting into the sys-
tem through mouth and nostrils, cause serious disor-
ders (diseases which are difficult to treat)"a doctrine
which, as Prof. Lamberton, to whom the writer is in- *
debted for the extract, points out, is handed down to us
from "the days of Cicero and Caesar," yet corresponds
closely to the ideas of malaria which we entertain at
present.

Pasteur had long before suggested that for the different
kinds of fermentation there must be specific ferments,
and by fractional cultures had succeeded in roughly sepa-
rating them.

Klebs, who was one of the pioneers of the germ
theory, published in 1872 his work upon septicemia and
pyemia, in which he expressed himself convinced that
the causes of these diseases must come from without the
body. Billroth strongly opposed such an idea, asserting
that fungi had no especial importance either in the pro-
cesses of disease or in those of decomposition, but 'that,
existing everywhere in the air, they rapidly developed in
the body as soon as through putrefaction a "Faulniss-
zymoid," or through inflammation a u phlogistische-
zymoid," supplying the necessary feeding-grounds, was
produced.

Klebs was not alone in the opposition aroused. Da-
vaine no sooner announced the contagium of anthrax
than critics declared that inasmuch as he introduced
blood from the diseased animal into the other animal
to whom the disease was to be communicated, it was
altogether unreasonable to believe the bacilli which were
in all probability accidentally present in that blood were
the cause of the disease.

In 1875 the number of scientific men who had embraced
the germ theory of disease was small, and most of those
who accepted it were experimenters. A great majority
of medical men either believed, like Billroth, that the
presence of fungi where decomposition was in progress