The relationship of bacteria to the acute intestinal diseases of infancy is a study that has attracted many workers and yet to-day the problem is far from being answered in a satisfactory manner. Several reasons exist for the indefiniteness of the views that are held at the present time, chief among them being the variance in the bacteriologic findings, the failure to distinguish between the presence of bacteria and the action of bacteria, and the unsuccessful attempts which have been made to correlate the laboratory findings with the different clinical types of intestinal disturbance. Much of the early work is at present of value only for its historical interest, as the more recent advances in bacteriology have shown the earlier differentiation of organisms and methods of study to have been incomplete.
In the earlier days of bacteriology numerous organisms were reported as the cause of dysentery epidemics. In 1888 Chantemesse