Following intravenous injection, filtrates of young cultures of B. paratyphosus B often produce marked diarrhea in rabbits. A study was made of the effect of these toxic filtrates on the motility of the small intestines of the rabbit. The observations were made on a segment of the small intestines in situ, and in the living animal. It was found that an immediate slight rise of tone of the longitudinal muscles occurred following intravenous injection of sterile broth. The same rise was noted after the injection of the toxic filtrate; but with these it was followed later (10 minutes elapsing at least) by a very strong but gradual rise of the diastolic and systolic tone, i.e., by spasmodic contraction of the intestinal muscle, which persisted at times for as long as 2 hours. In order to record simultaneously the effect on the longitudinal and circular muscles, and the propulsive efficiency of the segment the Sollmann and Rademaekers modification of Baur's technique was employed. This arrangement showed that the stimulation of the longitudinal muscles is accompanied by a similarly strong stimulation of the circular muscles, by peristalsis, and therefore by a greatly increased propulsion of intestinal contents which was sufficient to overcome the inhibition that usually occurs after preparation of the animal. With this arrangement an instance of peristaltic spasm was also noted. Broth alone failed to produce the phenomenon. Isotonic magnesium chloride or sulfate added to the bath relaxed the muscles again. Animals under deep urethane anesthesia did not show the diarrhea occurring in the intact controls, but sometimes exhibited it after the effect of the anesthetic had disappeared. So far no effects have been observed on the isolated strip (Magnus method), and further studies are being made to localize the effect, to neutralize it with a specific antiserum, and to observe the effect of filtrates of other members of the bacterial group including the dysentery bacilli.

This content is only available as a PDF.