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The Nature of

bodies, organisms, pigmented and malarial

THE NATURE OF " I have no hesitation," says Niemeyer, " in saying decidedly that marsh miasm—malaria—must consist of low vegetable organisms." Though when Niemeyer wrote these words our knowledge scarcely warranted so decided a statement, the evidence which has accumu lated since then quite justifies it now.

Lanzi and Terrigi, Klebs and Tommasi-Crudeli made a number of observations and researches in the malarial district of the Agro Romano near Rome which led them to believe that the malarial poison is an organism which may be obtained from the soil, and may be cultivated in the bodies of animals.

Laverau, whose researches were carried on in Algiers, found that the blood of those suffering from malarial fever contained: (1) cres cented pigmented bodies; (2) pigmented bodies in the red corpus cles, and (3) pigmented flagellate organisms. These different forms he regarded as different phases in the development of an organism which he believed to be the malarial poison—the cause of the disease. His observations have been amply confirmed by other observers. Osler describes : (1) amceboid bodies in the red corpuscles; (2) pig mented bodies in the red corpuscles; (3) large solid bodies in the interior of vacuoles; (4) free pigmented crescents which may some times be seen to develop in the interior of the red corpuscles; (5) ro sette forms; (6) scattered small bodies resulting from segmentation of the rosettes; (7) flagellate organisms, round, ovoid, or pear-shaped, with finely granular protoplasm; (8) small, round pigmented bodies one-fourth to one-half the size of the red corpuscles.

The amoeboid and pigmented bodies, though met with in both acute and chronic cases, seemed to be chiefly associated with acute manifestations of the disease; while the crescents were noted chiefly in chronic cases and in the later stages of acute cases. Quinine al ways caused the pigmented bodies to disappear.

Councilman's observations are in accord with those of Osler. The segmented organisms he found chiefly just before and during the cold stage. The crescentic form he found only in malarial cachexia. All forms he found most abundantly in blood taken from the spleen. The effects of quinine on those organisms were carefully noted by him. The administration of this drug in large dose always caused the segmented organisms to disappear; while on the crescentic it had no particular effect. The later researches and observations of Golgi, Manson, and others have fully verified the accuracy of Laveran's ob servations, and it may be accepted as proved that the organisms which he found in the blood of those suffering from malarial fever are really the poison which gives rise to the disease.