The aim has been to ascertain the bacteriological conditions obtaining in the intestine of
infants and young children, in health, and when suffering from diarrhoea.
The healthy children have been divided into
classes according to the nature of the feeding --
breast fed children, bottle fed children, and children on a mixed. diet.
The flora of the children suffering from
diarrhoea has been studied and by a comparison with
normal cases, an attempt Was made to arrive at conclusions as to the cause of diarrhoea.
The cases of diarrhoea studied were not
cases of Epidemic Summer Diarrhoea. They occurred
during the very cold and wet summer of 1912, and
during the winter following.
I hesitate, however, to call them cases of
Sporadic Diarrhoea, as there was some evidence that
some cases had derived infection from others, or that
some common factor was at, work.
All through, as
was suggested to me by Dr. Ritchie, I have endeavoured_ to study the flora as a
whole, and tried not to be seduced into the particular study of one group of organisms to the exclusion
of others. This has involved the formulation and
practice of a somewhat lengthy scheme of routine examination.
A total of 56 specimens has been examined.
Of these, 11 are not included in the present thesis
as they were used while studying means of isolation
in order to formulate a satisfactory routine examination.
3 others are not included as they were older
children suffering from intestinal indigestion.
21 cases free from diarrhoea, and which
always had been free from diarrhoea were put through
the routine examination. These cases throughout the
thesis I have called normal. I wish to say that by
this I mean completely free from diarrhoea. Many of
the children were not healthy.
14 cases suffering from diarrhoea have been
studied, and in addition 4 specimens from cases convalescent, or recovered, from diarrhoea have been
obtained, as well as the specimens obtained from the
same cases while the diarrhoea was at its worst.
A specimen of faeces and a catheter specimen of urine were also obtained from 3 cases of Coli
Pyelitis with the object of comparing the colon
bacilli of urine and faeces.