Page:Wound infections and some new methods for the study of the various factors which come into consideration in their treatment.djvu/27

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BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

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and can, in the absence of phagocytes, grow and multiply there without restraint, or practically without restraint.[1] The sero-saprophytes would be those which cannot grow and multiply in the blood fluids until a change—which we may, pending nearer investigation, call simply a degenerative change—has passed over those fluids.

What holds true of the blood fluids themselves might perhaps justifiably be assumed to hold true also of the lymph which pours into the wound. None the less, it will be well specially to investigate this point.


(2) Does the lymph which pours into the wound provide a favorable nutrient medium for the microbes which have been growing in that wound?

To pose this question is already to go a long way towards getting an answer to it; for we can, by the aid of a very simple device, obtain the lymph from the walls of the wound. I employ for this purpose what I may perhaps call a lymph leech. This consists, as you see, of a small glass tube. It is sealed up at one end, drawn out at the other in

  1. I introduce this qualifying clause because I have on several occasions found the serum of the infected patient to give cultures of streptococcus with a planting of his pus much smaller than that which was required to give a culture in the serum of a normal man.