Micro-organisms have been recovered relatively infrequently from the blood of children with rheumatic disease. The majority of bacteriologic investigations have been concerned mainly with the study of cultures from the throat, blood and joints of adults with acute rheumatic polyarthritis.
The recent report of Cecil, Nicholls and Stainsby1 on the high percentage of positive cultures obtained from patients (mostly adults) suffering from rheumatic fever has stimulated renewed interest in the streptococcic etiology of this disease. Positive blood cultures were also secured in a large number of rheumatic patients by Callow.2 These investigators emphasized the importance of special bacteriologic technic and ascribed the high percentage of positive cultures obtained in their studies to the methods used.
In view of these recent observations in adults, it was considered of interest to conduct a similar bacteriologic investigation in children presenting the various manifestations of rheumatic disease.3
This investigation covers