In 1905, Rona1 discovered the presence of spirochetes and fusiform bacilli in smears taken at necropsy from the lungs of two patients with pulmonary gangrene. One year later, Castellani2 reported two instances of hemorrhagic bronchitis, in which examinations of the sputum revealed large numbers of spirochetes. These authors were the first to recognize the importance of these organisms as causative agents of pathologic conditions of the respiratory tract. Since then, 150 cases of infection of the lower air passages by spirochetes, accompanied usually by fusiform bacilli, have been reported. The frequency with which these organisms appear as etiologic agents of pulmonary gangrene has been emphasized during recent years by Kline3 and by Pilot and Davis.4 Infection of the respiratory tract by spirochetes and fusiform bacilli occurs much more often in adults than in children; it is said to appear nine times more frequently in the former.
American journal of diseases of children – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 1, 1929