A Note Confirming Pasteur’s research on Septicemia

This is an excerpt from an entry originally published in the Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions, March 10, 1878, p. 769

In a note communicated by Pasteur to the Academy of Medicine, regarding septicæmia, he points out that the vibrios characteristic of this disease cannot sustain the presence of oxygen, but they can live in vacuo and in carbonic anhydride and be under the circumstances transformed into fully developed germs which can then resist the otherwise destructive action of the atmospheric oxygen.

G.F. Dowdeswell in a communication to a recent number of Nature, describes experiments in which water from different sources was allowed to stand at perfect rest for a given time; on then examining the lowest stratum of liquid in the cylinders, he detected the presence of organisms in large numbers. This fact is interesting only as a confirmation of Pasteur’s statement to the same effect, and it will be perceived that the method of investigation is parallel to that employed by Tyndall in his experiments upon the motes the vibration of which in the atmosphere gives visibility to a ray of light in its passage through a darkened chamber.

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