Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



A bizarre organism was isolated in 1953 in a Castaneda blood culture flask in an attempt to determine the cause of septicemia in a child. It was discovered that the organism causing this septicemia was morphologically and physiologically similar to one of the organisms causing rat bite fever, which to this time had never been isolated in South Dakota. It was impossible under the circumstances to make any positive identification of the organism. Microscopic slides were saved with the expectation that circumstances would become favorable for research with the suspected organism, Streptocaillus monilformis. It was decided that a study centered around the organism and its intriguing relationship to animals and man would be appropriate for the research problem. It seemed desirable to study the localization of the bacteria in the tissues of embryos and if possible, of postnatal animals to see whether any light could be shed on the role of sensitization and allergy in the localization of the organisms. Certain of the symptoms described by Levaditi, Nicolau and Poincloux (11) resemble symptoms of rheumatic fever, in which sensitization and allergy are thought to play an important part. It was anticipated that in mammalian embryos and in very young animals the bacteria might show less tendency to localize than was found in mature laboratory animals. The following studies were accordingly undertaken using methods perfected by Woolpert (30) for cultivation of the streptobacili in fetal rabbits, and various attempts were made to induce successful infection in few-born rabbits. The methods of intrauterine inoculation are very powerful tools in the hands of a bacteriologist working with fastidious organisms, and it would constitute a valuable addition to the skills of an investigator.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rat-bite fever



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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