Page:Wound infections and some new methods for the study of the various factors which come into consideration in their treatment.djvu/37

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BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

21

which is, when these break up, discharged into the surrounding medium. This tryptic ferment will come into operation under two different conditions. It will come in whenever a residue of pus—for this would contain free trypsin—is left behind in, or afterwards makes its way into, the wound. Trypsin will again come into account whenever, after the washing of the wound, leucocytes once more begin to emigrate, and phagocytose, and break down.

I see in the reduction of the antitryptic power of the lymph thus effected the prime cause of its corruption. Before attempting to obtain confirmation of this from crucial experiments, there was a set of findings to be cleared up. I had found in connexion with pus implantations made into serum that when this was heated to 60° C. for ten minutes one no longer obtained the same differential growth of streptococcus as with unheated serum; but obtained instead mixed cultures of streptococcus with sero-saprophytes, in particular staphylococcus and the wisp-like diphtheroid bacillus already made mention of. It seemed at first sight as if this could not possibly be related with a reduction in the antitryptic power of the serum; for it has, in view of the high quality of Opie's work on this question, been generally accepted from him that the antitryptic power of the serum is unaffected by