Spirilla of identical morphological and cultural characters have been isolated in pure culture from the fetuses of fourteen cases of abortion. The condition of the fetus is much the same whether spirilla or the bacilli of abortion are present. This condition is probably due in both cases to interference with the placental circulation. The injurious action of the etiological factor when spirilla are present is limited to the fetal membranes, more particularly the chorion. Definite lesions of the fetus were not detected. The spirilla gain access to the digestive and respiratory organs of the fetus when the latter swallows the amniotic fluid. More rarely they are disseminated through the body, probably through the circulation. The spirilla will grow in certain culture media only under reduced oxygen tension, readily secured by sealing the ordinary culture tubes with sealing wax. Laboratory animals (mammals) are refractory. The precise relation of the spirillum to the pathologic process remains to be more definitely formulated. Since the spirillum was first isolated, twenty-seven cases have been found associated with Bacillus abortus and fourteen with the spirillum. In none was a mixed infection with both organisms detected. The spirillum has been isolated only from the second or succeeding pregnancies.
Table I summarizes the data collected thus far. It gives by. number the male and shows that the spirillum is not associated with any one bull. The spirillum has been found in fetuses of various ages as shown in Column 3. The distribution of spirilla as shown by cultures is given, the sign + indicating pure cultures, the sign no growth. The guinea pig inoculations are shown to be uniformly negative as regards Bacillus abortus.