Proteus vulgaris and proteus morganii in diarrheal disease of infants
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Twelve cases of enteritis, colitis, or enterocolitis are presented. In 3 patients B. proteus was present in the feces; in 7 B. morganii type 1, and in 2 both B. proteus and B. morganii.
Three of the patients died; two from concurrent disease.
All of the patients were less than ten months old.
During the same period B. proteus and B. morganii were only rarely encountered in the feces of older children with diarrheal disease.
With one single exception no other pathogenic enteric organisms were recovered from the feces of these patients.
Although the strains of B. proteus and B. morganii, respectively, were biochemically identical, they differed in antigenic structure.
Strains isolated from one individual on several occasions showed antigenic differences in spite of the fact that they were biochemically identical.
In 8 of the cases the antibody response was followed. In no instance did agglutinins develop against the homologous microörganism (or microorganisms) in titer of 1:10 or above, even several weeks after the onset of the illness.
Two representative strains of B. proteus and B. morganii readily engendered agglutinins in rabbits.
Feeding of a strain of B. morganii to an infant resulted in the appearance of this microörganism in the feces. However, the strains recovered differed in antigenic structure from the parent strain; biochemically, they were identical.
The significance of these findings is discussed.
KeywordsAntibody Response Appendicitis Enteric Disease Spina Bifida Diarrheal Disease
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