Book Review The New Medical Science, or Hereditary and Acquired Syphilis in Relation to the Diseases of the Human Body . Studies and Observations for the Use of Medical Practitioners. Vol. I. By Dr. Pasquale Fusco. Rome: La Speranza Press. 1909
Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
This monograph cmbrances the results of a statistical study of over five hundred different strains of micrococci isolated from the human body, and from the air, water and earth. Cultures were made from the various organs at autopsies, and a number were obtained from the throat. A series of cocci was isolated from the hands of students and a small number of cultures from the feces of man and animals. The authors distinguish two main scries or subfamilies: one parasitic and the other saprophytic.
... other saprophytic. " The groups differ in morphology, staining reactions, cultural characters and biochemical powers. Within these two subfamilies arc eight minor groups which seem to merit generic rank. Each is marked by the correlation of several apparently independent characters, and the eight form, in general, a more or less linear series, connecting such purely parasitic forms as the meningococcus with the saprophytic cocci, so common in the air." The authors are convinced that the " study of the numerical frequency of individual characters and of their mutual correlations offers a sound basis for bacterial classification." The volume contains a great deal of interest to physicians and to all students of the bacteriology of disease, as it presents a complete summary of recent work on some of the most important pathogenic bacteria. Of the 500 cultures isolated by the author, 180 belong in the genus aurococcus. Of these, 135, or 07%, were isolated from the human body. Much valuable information has been collected in regard to the morphological and biological properties of the pneumococci. Another chapter of special interest to pathologists is that dealing with the genus streptococcus. It is now known that streptococci are not all of one kind. They arc classified in seven types which have been studied with sufficient detail to make them definitely recognizable. Diplococcus pneumonias was first described by A. Fränkel and not by Friedländer, as stated in the text. The volume has a good bibliography and complete indices. In this volume the author undertakes to prove from clinical experience during his residence in the United States that tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are all results of syphilis, hereditary or acquired, on the theory that bacteria will cause disease only in persons with a luctic taint. Syphilis and alcoholism he considers, witli some justification, the twin curses of mankind, but it would seem that he might as well make the former the primum walum, to which should be reducible all the physical ailments of humanity, and regard the craving for alcohol merely as a symptom of syphilitic toxemia. Needless to say, Dr. Fusco's demonstration of his thesis is hardly convincing. Perhaps he does not exaggerate the wide prevalence of syphilis and luctic heredity, for doubtless the world is so inoculated with the taint that there are but few that do not partake of it remotely. Nevertheless his arguments savor too much of generalization and Latin logic to command serious scientific attention. Studies in Rabies. Collected writings of Na-