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Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

76                  PATHOGENIC BACTERIA.

mediate and prolonged opposition to the theory. Each side
of the question seemed well supported. The phagocy tolo-
gists, however, showed that bacteria were often injured
and their vegetative powers destroyed by sudden changes
from one culture-medium to another, this being proved
by Haffkine, who in experimenting with aqueous humor
has shown that its germicidal actions are largely imagin-
ary, and due to the dispersion of the organisms in a large
amount of watery liquid. When the micro-organisms
are introduced into it in such a manner as to remain
together, they grow well. If the tube be shaken, so as
to distribute them, they die. Again, Adami has shown
that when blood is shed there is almost always a pro-
nounced destruction of corpuscles, and suggests that the
antibiotic property of the shed blood may be due to
solution of the nucleins formerly in the substance of the
leucocytes. Jetter endeavored to prove the germicidal
action of the serum to be due to certain salts which it
contained. His experiments, which consisted in observ-
ing the action of solutions of various salts in mixtures
of water, glycerin, and gelatin, were justly condemned
by Buchner on the ground that such mixtures, though
they might contain constituents of blood-serum, were far
from approximating the normal serum in composition.

Wyssokowitsch, however, surely argued against hu-
moral germicide when he showed that the spores of Ba-
cillus subtilis could reside in the spleen for three months
uninjured.

In supporting their theory the humoralists experimented
by placing beneath the skin micro-organisms enclosed in
little bags of pith, collodium, etc. These bags allowed
the fluids of the body free access to the bacteria, but
would shut out the phagocytes. By these means Hiippe
and Lubarsch have repeatedly seen the bacteria grow
well, while the attempts of Baumgarten have failed.
Such experiments are "by no means conclusive, for we
should remember that the operation necessary and the
presence of the foreign body in which the bacteria are