Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
From two cases of obscure fever occurring in Ceylon the author isolated a peculiar bacillus which he calls B. asiaticus (1) and from two further cases a very similar organism termed B. asiaticus (2). Clinically the patients suffered from a low type of fever, two were infected with intestinal worms, and all had abdominal discomfort. In ca.se 1. the organism was isolated from the faeces and the blood. A vaccine was prepared from it and, given therapentically, appeared to cut short the fever. Specific agglutinins acting in dilutions up to 1 in 300 were present for six months in the patient's blood, but none were present for other common intestinal infective micro-organisms. In case 2. the organism was only isolated from the faeces, but agglutination reactions were present. Case 3. suffered from a low fever lasting four months, associated with abdominal pains. D. asiaticus (2) was isolated twice from the faeces. His serum gave negative reactions to all organisms except B. asiaticus (2) 1/80. B. asiaticus is described as a short, non-motile, gram negative, dysentery-like bacillus, which gives acidity with gas, in glucose, sorbite, saccharose [sucrose] media, etc. but gives no acidity or gas with adouite, lactose, or milk; the latter is often decolorized but there is no clotting. When freshly isolated it is pathogenic if given intra-peritoneally to guineapigs. B. asiaticus (2) differs only in biological reactions.
The following is a summary of the author's conclusions.-In four obscure fever cases in Ceylon a new bacterium was found differing from any other intestinal bacterium. It occurs in two varieties B. asiaticus (1) & (2). The proof's of its being the causative agent are: specific agglutinins are produced, decreasing slowly in amount after the fever is over. The blood of the cases did not agglutinate other organisms, nor were other organisms isolated from it. The organism was only found in these cases.
A table is given of the cultural reactions of B. asiaticus and 76 other intestinal aerobic bacteria, which should be of considerable use for reference.
P. W. B. S.
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