IT is the object of this article to call the attention of physicians to a remedy that will usually cure puerperal sepsis. It is an immediate remedy, and, what is more to the point, it is effective and cheap. In addition, it is capable of wholesale application.
The extension of the principle that underlies the cures made by the use of this remedy takes in the whole range of curative medicine and much that now lies entirely beyond its borders. The discovery of this remedy marks a step forward in the development of bacterial therapy. What is called autogenous vaccine, strictly speaking, is not autogenous, but “test-tube ogenous.” For culture media, on which all vaccines grow, alter and change the bacteria morphologically, biologically and therapeutically.
There are no therapeutic reasons why bacteria used as a curative agent should be grown on artificial media, and there are many good reasons why they should not be so grown. The therapeutic qualities of micro-organisms, composing all vaccines, are also altered by the heat and chemical preservatives necessary in their preparation.
The original, unchanged micro-organism-complex and the toxic results of its activity on the tissues of the living body are most therapeutically effective when properly and promptly administered to the patient from whom they were taken. This is beautifully illustrated by the well-known fact pointed out by the winter twenty-two years ago, namely, that the dog licks and cures its injured paw. This is a matter of common observation and daily demonstration. This is the basic fact on which we built our newly discovered therapy. The dogs wounded paw heals by a biological reaction, caused by transferring a few of each variety of the unchanged infective bacteria complex and its associated toxic products of germ activity from the wound into its mouth.
The micro-organisms and their toxins taken into the dogs mouth are not altered or changed in any way. The antigen of each is present and unchanged. They are taken as Nature intended they should be, and, as a result, they quickly cure the infection of the paw or other part of the body within reach of the tongue. Wounds that are thus lapped heal without the practice of asepsis, or the use of antiseptics, sterile gauze or skilled attendants.
The Creator intended every wound, in both man and animal, to be infected, but He did not intend the infection should become severe or that the patient should become severely ill, or that the patient should die from this infection. For He placed within each wound the remedy He prescribed for its cure. We have never clearly understood this biological principle. The result is that millions upon millions of human patients suffer and die annually in all parts of the world from pus infection of some kind, when the remedy prescribed by Nature to cure each infection lies within the infected area itself.
The dog, by taking the parent micro-organism complex into its mouth, fresh from the wound, by the inherent power of its living tissue, automatically develops their antibody complex or resisting substances. These, circulating in the bloodstream, reach the infected area, where they destroy each variety of the infecting micro-organisms remaining in the parts and antidote their toxins.
It is this biological reaction that enables the dog to cure its infected foot by lapping it. Its wounds do not heal by the mechanical cleansing action of the tongue, as is commonly held, nor does the antiseptic quality of the saliva have, as far as is known, any effect on wound healing.
This therapeutic principle is clarified and comes with more force and we gain a better understanding of the subject if we consider the additional fact that animal mothers seldom or never die from infection following the birth of their young. We believe they always are infected. For pus-producing germs are upon everything they touch. Yet animals seldom or never die from this uncomplicated infection. This is an indisputable fact.
During twenty-two years of continuous study of this therapeutic principle, the writer discovered that the principle of immunisation by way of the mouth that animal mothers employ in curing themselves may be safely transferred to human mothers. This will cure uncomplicated cases of puerperal sepsis in human mothers with as much regularity and certainty as it cures incipient infection in the animal.
This is of undeniable interest and of international importance. Every nation is asking to-day: “What can be done to reduce the frightful loss of mothers who die from infection at childbirth?” This question is now answered. It is surprising and deeply humiliating to be told that severe puerperal infection is a human disease, for animal mothers, though always infected at the birth of their young, seldom, or never, allow their uncomplicated incipient infections to progress to the point of septicemia or blood-poisoning, and never die from it.