A disease of cows manifested by severe diarrhea has been described. The condition is characterized by the frequent passage of dark brown or black feces, often containing mucus and blood. The principal lesions are catarrhal inflammation of the small intestine and liver degeneration.
By feeding feces from spontaneous cases to calves a similar but milder disease characterized by the same type of enteritis was produced. Vibrios were cultivated from the inflamed intestinal tract of such experimentally induced cases. Pure cultures of the vibrios when fed to other calves, in certain instances, produced diarrhea and a well marked enteritis similar to that observed in both the spontaneous disease and in calves following the feeding of feces from naturally affected cows. Vibrios were recovered from the inflamed small intestine of three out of four animals fed such cultures.