For about twelve years the writer has been
engaged intermittently in field and laboratory
studies on certain aspects of infection in infants
especially the new -born. His interest in this
subject was aroused in 1939 by Professor Charles
McNeil who was anxious at the time that the mode
of spread of thrush in maternity hospitals should
be investigated. The work the writer carried
out in this subject is described in Part III of
this thesis and some of it has already been
published jointly with Dr. (now Professor) J. L.
Henderson (Ludlam & Henderson, 1942). It was
inevitable that at the same time attention should
be attracted by the high incidence of staphylococcal
infections in infancy. Research on this was begun
and involved much preliminary laboratory work which
occupied most of the available time for several
years. Later, after the writer had moved to
Nottingham the work on staphococci was continued,
mainly work on the nasal carriage of Stáah aureus
in infancy. Some of this latter work will be
published shortly (Ludlam, 1953). While in
Nottingham the writer was asked to investigate the
aetiology of an outbreak of neonatal pneumonia.
The finding of pharyngeal inclusion bodies in the
affected infants led to further investigations which resulted in unexpected conclusions that disagreed with previous work on the subject. This
research has already been published (Ludlam, 1951).
The latter subjects, staphylococcal infection and
pharyngeal inclusion bodies, comprise Parts II and
IV of the thesis.
At the request of a Sub- Committee of the
Scientific Advisory Committee of the Department of
Health for Scotland, set up to report on neonatal
deaths due to infection, the writer prepared a review on the bacteriology and epidemiology of
infancy. This was later published (Ludlam, 1947)
and has now been modified and brought up to date to
form an introduction to the thesis (Part I).