Birk studied the metabolism of eleven infants during their febrile period. The fever in some of them was due to vaccination and in others to measles or chickenpox. All the infants were normal in every other respect, and all of them were fed artificially.
The nitrogen metabolism showed marked changes during the incubation period, the active febrile period and the postfebrile period. The author believes that the nitrogen balance is even a finer indication of the child's condition than the temperature and weight curve. In most cases there was a loss of nitrogen during the febrile period. In the prefebrile period, however, there was an increase in the nitrogen retention.
The author does not believe that the loss in nitrogen is due to toxigenic decomposition of protein, as has been held for many years. He believes that it is all due to a disturbance of the central regulation of protein