BACILLUS PROTEUS VULGARIS. 475
cause of death in case&an which considerable quantities
are injected into the peritoneal cavity or blood-vessels.
The bacilli do not seem able to multiply in the animal
body in health, but can do so when there has been pre-
vious injury to its tissues or when associated with patho-
genic bacteria. In such cases, if.it be enabled to grow
in considerable quantity, its toxin may cause pronounced
symptoms. By various observers the proteus has been
secured in culture from cases of wound and puerperal in-
fections, purulent peritonitis, endometritis, and pleurisy.
When the local lesion in which it grows is small, as in
endometritis, the danger of toxemia is slight, but when
spread over large areas, as the peritoneum, may prove
It is quite probable that in some of the cases in which
blood-infection with the proteus has been found after
death it did not exist previously, as the researches of
Bordoni-Uffreduzzi have shown that the proteus quite
regularly enters the tissues after death.
While thus apparently unable to keep up an indepen-
dent existence in the tissues during life, and important in
the body only in conjunction with other bacteria, the
proteus seems able to grow abundantly in urine and to
produce primary inflammation of the bladder when in-
troduced spontaneously or experimentally into that viscus.
The inflammatory process may extend from the bladder
to the kidney, and so prove quite serious.
The Bacillus proteus has also been found in acute in-
fectious jaundice and in acute febrile icterus, or Weil's