60 PA THOGENIC BA CTERIA.
Achard1 studied 49 cases to determine whether or not
the intestinal bacteria entered the organism during the
death agony. In 14 bacteria were found intra vitam in
the liver and in the blood. In 24 no bacteria were found
during life, but after death. In n no bacteria were
found either during life or after death—before twenty-two
to twenty-seven hours, when his autopsies were made.
The passage of bacteria into the blood during agony was
unusual. The bacteria most commonly found during life
were the streptococci and staphylococci. In the dead body
the one most frequently encountered was the bacillus coli
communis. Before reaching the intestine the bacteria
pass through the stomach, and must resist the deleterious
action of the acid gastric juice, which few are able to do.
(b) The Respiratory Tract.—Notwithstanding the moist
interiors of the mouth and nose and the lashing cilia of
the pharyngeal and tracheal mucous membrane, numbers
of bacteria enter the smaller bronchioles, and occasionally
penetrate as deeply as the air-cells. It is usual to find a
few bacteria in a section of healthy lung.
Thomson and Hewlett2 estimate that from 1500 to
14,000 bacteria are inspired every hour. As expired air
is usually sterile, they sought to determine what became
of these organisms, and agree with Lister and with
Hildebrandt that the organisms are arrested before they
reach the air-cells. They found by killing a number of
animals and examining the tracheal surface that it was
sterile, and conclude that the great majority of bacteria
are stopped in the nose against the moist surfaces of its
vestibules, where they found great numbers in the crusts.
No doubt the ciliated cells of the nose have something to
do with getting rid of the bacteria.
An ingenious experiment was performed by placing
some bacilli prodigiosus upon the septum naris, and
making a culture from the spot at intervals during two
1 Archives de medecine exp&rimentale et d'antomie pathologique, 1895, No-
I, P. 25.
2 British Mid. Jour., Jan. 18, 1896, p. 137.