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Hueter says: “One observes in every fever, as the experiments of Cohnheim on the mesentery of the frog show, a stagnation and migration of white corpuscles.
Quinine prevents the migration of leucocytes and reduces temperature which seems to be identical with it. Experimental experience teaches that the migration of white corpuscles always indicate the presence of numerous microbes in the tissues.
De Bary says that leucocytes are qualified to receive microorganisms and to render them more or less harmless.
The fever productive germs are of divers natures, hence it is apparent that one antipyretic remedy is not capable of destroying all species of germs.
Those germs which are the causes of febrile manifestations must be nullified and this effect is observed on the use of quinine in malarial fever, salicylate of soda in rheumatism, naphthalin in typhoid fever.
Every specific fever is preceded by a period of incubation, the duration of which depends upon the intensity of invasion and disseminating activity of the specific germ.
The discovery of specific germs in some of the specific fevers still remains unsettled. Within the last few months Dr. Neuhaus succeeded in finding the typhoid bacillus in the blood of living persons, previously found by Eberth and Koch in the tissues only after death. Dr. Neuhaus inoculated nutritive gelatine with the blood from roscola of typhoid patients and succeeded in cultivating the characteristic bacilli and re-inoculation with the latter gave satis factory typhoid results.
Gafky says, that this bacillus is only found in typhoid fever and there constantly.
Scarlet fever has been successfully inoculated with the blood and contents of miliary vesicles (Eichhorst).
In relapsing fever Obermeier, Carter, etc., discovered the constant presence of a spirillum (Spirillum Obermeieri) in the circulation during the fever, while in the non-febrile stage no spirillum can be detected.
To Koch and Baumgartner must be attributed the genial discovery of tubercular bacillı, but to Baumgartner alone we owe the demonstration of its detrimental activity in the formation of tubercular nodules.
The latter, by a series of experiments, simultaneously injected into the anterior chambers of eight to ten rabbits material containing tubercular bacilli. Thereafter at definite intervals the bulbi were successively removed and examined and it was possible for him to demonstrate the gradual proliferation and distribution of the characteristic bacilli -- this observation
be made in cadavers,
These striking experiments have unquestionably proved the virulent character of these germs not only through the negative results obtained, by injection of material free from bacilli but also by the direct microscopical observation of their dissemination.
On the second day after the injection, he observed a marked increase and wandering of bacilli from original centre into the granular tissues of the recent scar. On the 5th and 6th day numerous bacilli could be detected in the fixed cells and intercellular spaces of the surrounding and unaffected tissues of the cornea and iris, followed by formation of nodules; the latter can be detected on the 10th day.
This process continued and in a short time he found the neighboring lymphatic glands involved, thence distributed further by the general circulation. In five weeks an abundance of bacilli were detected in the glomeruli of the kidneys. It must not be forgotten that invasion of tissues by the bacilli is the first step, followed by the formation of nodules in lungs, spleen, kidneys and lymphatic glands.
Now I propose to add a few remarks about the simultaneous existence of different bacilli under similar conditions.
In the cholera question the fact has been observed that two important bacilli exist side by side. One, discovered by Koch, can as yet only be found in the intestine, the other, by Emmerich, has been detected in various organs and in the blood, and Emmerich obtained with his cultures satisfactory inoculations. DeBary suggests complications. Eberth has found aside from the specific bacillus in typhoid fever, numerous other micro-organisms, the latter suspected of producing the numerous complications frequently observed in this disease.
It is known that scarlet fever is often complicated with diphtheria.
It may be advisable to say a few words about germs in general. Infectious diseases are divided into contagious and miasmatic, but both may be combined. Heule in 1840 was the first who taught in his pathological lectures, that we must regard all contagions as living organisms.
A short review of the principal opinions on germ theories.
Prof. Nageli supports the opinion that in the course of time the same organism may alternately assume different morphological and physiological appearances, at one time, producing typhoid fever, at another cholera, relapsing or intermittent fever.
Billroth substantiates the above and considers them under the name of septic cocco-bacteria.
Eberth, Klebs, Koch, Pasteur, DeBary, Baumgartner, Bollinger, and many other observers, to whom we owe valuable discoveries in the microscopical world, insist upon the fact of specific and unchangeable forms of micro-organisms which produce certain dis. eases.
DeBary classifies micro-organisms into three grand divisions. 1, bacilli, which may be compared to lead pencils; 2, spirilli to corkscrews; 3, microbes to billiard balls.
The decaying process takes place on the entire surface of the earth except in the polar and tropical regions, the latter only when the temperature is of sufficient intensity to dessicate decayable matter.
Pettenkofer, Koch, De Bary, etc., say that dried putrefactive material is conveyed with the dust of the air and subject to respiration. Plateaux and oceans are supplied with pure air, if not infected by trade-winds.
Prof. Bollinger calculated that 4,500 grains of dust is the maximum amount that can be inspired annually. This fact alone is a proof of the beneficial influence derived from a sojourn on water or mountain in pulmonary diseases.
DeBary in his lectures of 1885 on bacteria, says that exterior and climatic causes influence the extension of bacteria. Hesse in Berlin gives a very instructive table upon the relative quantity of various gerins in different localities by the use of a gelatine aspirator.
Epidemics show the temporary immunity of many persons and prove the fact on which vaccination and Pasteur's principles are based: The first infection aftords a certain immunity against re-occurence of disease or diminishes the virulence of a second infection,
as could be observed in some of our last epidemic in measles, where a relatively large number of persons were affected a second time, the disease taking a very mild course.
I may mention in this connection a case of relapsing pneumonia in a robust individual, manifesting extraordinarily mild symptoms, considering the extent of pulmonary induration.
Koch found that he could only infect guinea pigs with common bacilli per stomach after long fasting, and Virchow claims that disturbed digestion may allow the necessary time for the destruction of germs by the gastric juice.
Bacteriologists may be called the present architects of medical science and we as practical physicians are expected to profit by their work to benefit human suffering.
THE RELATION OF GERMS AND MICRO-ORGANISMS
BY DR. I. W. DE VOE, OF WAUSAU.
The subject of germs and micro-organisms in their relation to disease, forms a basis for the investigation and scientific research of our most profound medical philosophers and scientists, and yet so far as they have lavished upon it their experimental and philosophical wisdom there remains to me, as well as to thousands of other medical men a “sea of uncertainty", a labyrinth unmarked by the footprints of sound philosophy. I therefore beg leave to present a few questions, relating to this subject, for discussion by the society:
1. Have we any reliable experiments to enlighten our way, as respects the products of micro-organisms beyond those that relate to fermentation and putrefaction?
2. And in these cases have we enough to justify rational inferences, that any form or kind of disease, is produced by the germs of micro-organisms?
3. Is it not the case that diseased action must first bring the normal tissue into an abnormal state before it is susceptible of germ action?
4. When, therefore we find organisms in the lungs, has not the tubercular diathesis or other diseased action rendered the fluids of these minute cavities abnormal and therefore susceptible of germ action?
5. Do not bacilli appear in the lungs when disease has prepared their food, and only at that time?
6. Do they not appear there under the same conditions precisely as they appear elsewhere out of the body?
7. Do they create the condition of the organ under which the fluids are rendered abnormal?