Reviews and Notices of Books

1907 The Lancet  
of the Arthur Road Hospital, by whose courtesy constant access to patients was allowed. Should it in the future be found advisable to specify the Bombay spirillum as a subvariety I suggest that it should be called " S. Carteri," as a tribute to the memory of Vandyke Carter of the Bombay Medical Service, whose monograph, "Spirillum Fever," remains to this day a monument of industry and scientific accuracy. The following are the more important results obtained after a further six months' work on
more » ... ix months' work on the above subject :-1. It was found possible to transmit the disease from an infected monkey to an uninfected by means of repeated puncture from the former to the latter with a grooved needle. A similar result was obtained with freshly drawn infected defibrinated or citrated blood. The "artificial proboscis" experiment proves that spirillar fever can be conveyed without any developmental stage and suggests that if the infection is carried by insect agency the method is more likely to be by a soiled proboscis (as is probably the case in some trypanosome infections) than through the medium of a developmental stage. 2. It was found possible to transmit the disease to monkeys by feeding with infected blood. The dose required was rather larger than by subcutaneous injection and the incubation stage was prolonged by two or three days. Spirilla (whether specific or otherwise) have been seen several times in the urine of infected patients, but attempts to transmit the disease by injection of, or feeding with, this secretion have failed. These facts suggest the possibility of an alternative route in human epidemics and certainly opportunities are not wanting for such transmission amongst the native population. 3. A monkey was injected with blood from a patient who was in the apyrexial period and whose blood was proved to be free from spirilla. The monkey failed to develop the disease at the usual time but five days after the injection of the monkey the man had the relapse and the monkey a primary attack together; spirilla appeared in the blood of .each and the disease ran its usual course. This suggests that (a) the spirillum remains in the circulating blood in an unrecognised or ultra-microscopic form; (b) that the blood is infective during the apyrexial as well as the pyrexial period ; and (0) that there is a definite cycle of development which comes to a crisis with the .appearance of visible spirilla at definite intervals. Bombay. versity of Pennsylvania. With two plates of absorption spectra, four coloured plates, and 126 figures in the text. London: J. and A. Churchill. 1907. Pp. 416. Price 16s. net. THE author states that the main point in which his plan of -setting forth his subject differs from those previously proposed is in its treatment of the foodstuffs and their digestion. The subject of decomposition products of proteids, although it is impracticable to include its study in an ordinary course of physiological chemistry, is given in Chapter IV. (pp. 65-82), and a short chapter (pp. 139-47) is devoted to the examination of " feces " for the purpose of diagnosis. The author's plan, however, will be best understood by enumerating the order of the subjects : carbohydrates, salivary digestion, proteids and their decomposition products, gastric digestion, fats, pancreatic digestion, bile, putrefactive products, "feces," blood, and milk ; epithelial, connective, muscular, and nervous tissues; urine (normal and abnormal), and quantitative analysis of urine, milk, gastric juice, and blood. We do not find much that differs from the subject as treated in English text-books of the same standard. The tests for carbohydrates and other groups .are fully given under the head of carbohydrates and proteids. .A useful blank chart is given in order to facilitate the student's review of the properties of the substances comprehended in these groups. There are also useful schemes for the detection of unknown substances in solution-e.g., carbohydrates, proteids; but we do not find one dealing with complex mixtures-e.g., of carbohydrates, proteids, and bodies of physiological importance. The old classification of proteids is adhered to and in giving the technique of the colour reactions the author explains the cause to which they are due. There are some good drawings of crystals of edestin, excelsin, and the products of decomposition of proteids and of the fats. Fibrinogen is stated to be "perhaps the most important of the proteid constituents of the plasma " ; serum-globulin and serum-albumin are regarded as probably not individual substances. The differences between blood plasma and blood serum are not properly stated at p. 150. The coloured figures of crystallised hæmoglobin are good and true to nature; we cannot say quite the same for the two plates of absorption spectra which preface the volume. Some of the methods in use in this country for counting the blood corpuscles and estimating the haemoglobin are omitted. In the chapter on Muscle we think that the author is right in dividing his experiments into those (1) on living muscle and (2) on dead muscle. The long chapters on Urine (pp. 226-379) are much the same as in similar text-books. An appendix of about ten pages sets forth the chemical composition of the various reagents used. There is a good index. On the whole, we think that the English student will not find any great advantage in the use of this work in preference to English text-books.
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(00)50068-3 fatcat:udqthni4indhtginu7plntu3aa