Investigations into the Nature, Causation, and Prevention of Texas or Southern Cattle Fever Page: 55
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THE CAUSATION OR ETIOLOGY OF TEXAS FEVER.
some a few cultures developed, the contents of which were explainable
either as contaminations or as coming from an animal in which fre-
quent skin incisions in the last stages of the disease may have led to
the introduction of a few bacteria into the circulation. The results
obtained from cattle infected by Texan animals were as negative as
those from North Carolina cattle. (See No. 128.) Cultures have thus
far been made from four different outbreaks, and the blood and the
tissues have been examined microscopically from as many more. (See
Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 43, 44, 48, 54, 70, 128.)
We are, therefore, ready to admit that there are no bacteria in the
blood and tissues of animals suffering with Texas fever, excepting
occasional individuals which probably enter the circulation from the
intestines by way of the disintegrated liver. But may there not be
bacteria living only in the intestinal tract which send their toxic prod-
ucts into the circulation and thus cause disease This hypothesis
might be attractive to those who will insist on bacteria as the cause of
Texas fever, but there are no facts to support it, and in view of the
more definite results obtained by us its discussion is useless.
THE MICROORGANISM OF TEXAS FEVER.
(Pyro8oma bigeminum, n. sp.*)
Although Texas' fever is essentially a blood disease, and only sec-
ondarily affects the spleen, liver, and kidneys, most observers have
failed to recognize this fact. R. C. Stiles (1) was the earliest and the
only observer who laid any stress upon the changed condition of the
blood corpuscles. He says: "The red blood corpuscles when exam-
ined immediately after removal from the body were shriveled and
crenated without artificial provocation. * * * In one case many of
the disks appeared to have lost a portion of their substance, as if a
circular piece had been punched out, the addition of water failing to
restore the disk to completeness." There can be little doubt that Stiles
saw at that time the microorganism of Texas fever, without, of course,
recognizing it, since this description applies very closely to the ap-
pearance of red corpuscles infected by this micro-parasite when the
blood and the parenchyma of liver, spleen, and kidneys are examined
fresh soon after death. Other observers have examined the blood, but
have seen nothing unusual
In 1888 during the examination of portions of the organs of cases
Nos. 3 to 6 inclusive the destruction of the red corpuscles seemed to
be the one prime phenomenon of the disease. The large quantity of
hamoglobin in the urine, and the peculiar condition of the liver and
*For the preliminary announcement of the discovery of this microorganism see
the Annual Report of the Secretary of Agriculture for 1889, the Medical News for
December 4, 1889, or the Proceedings of the American Public Health Association
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Smith, Theobold & Kilborne, Fred Lucius. Investigations into the Nature, Causation, and Prevention of Texas or Southern Cattle Fever, book, 1893; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143538/m1/55/: accessed January 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.