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Positive for tuberculosis.
Negative for tuberculosis.
Spinal fluid for Wassermann test (negative, 12; specimens defec
Diphtheria cultures and swabs:
Antityphoid vaccine. The ordinary typhoid vaccine has been prepared and distributed in larger quantities than in preceding years and it is expected that the demand will continue heavy. The making and testing of this product and of antirabic virus require the greatest care to avoid errors in technique that might be serious or even disastrous.
Late in the fiscal year it became advisable to prepare paratyphoid vaccine. This prophylactic, comprising the organisms of paratyphoid "A" and "B," is now ready for distribution.
Over 300 persons were given the typhoid prophylactic at the laboratory during the fiscal year, and 98,989 cubic centimeters of the vaccine, sufficient for 33,000 persons, were distributed.
Pasteur treatment. The Pasteur treatment was given at the laboratory as heretofore, 39 patients receiving the injections during the fiscal year, and material for 1,680 treatments being sent to State and other beneficiaries, as noted in the following tabulation:
DIVISION OF PHARMACOLOGY.
Prof. Carl Voegtlin, who has been in charge of the laboratory studies of pellagra at Spartanburg, S. C., during the previous fiscal year, resumed his duties as Chief of the Division of Pharmacology in October, 1916.
Physiological significance of vitamines in nutrition.-Work has been continued on this problem, and many new facts have been discovered concerning the importance to health of the presence of small quantities of so-called vitamines in the diet of man and the higher animals. The studies have resulted in many improvements in the method of preparation of vitamine fractions possessing a high physiological activity, but the antineuritic vitamine has not yet been obtained in chemically pure form.
Work with fairly pure preparations of antineuritic vitamine has demonstrated that this substance has a very marked stimulating effect on the growth of animals (pigeons, mice, hogs, and dogs), and presumably also on man. This substance must be present in the diet in sufficient quantity in order that normal growth can be obtained.
Experiments have also been carried out aiming at the production of polyneuritis in the higher animals due to a vitamine deficiency of the diet. It was found that cats develop this disease with great regularity on an exclusive diet of meat which has been subjected for three hours in the presence of sodium carbonate to a temperature of 120° C. Typical symptoms appear within three to seven weeks.
During the year it has been determined that exposure of meat to a temperature of 120° C. for three hours does not destroy the antineuritic vitamine contained in this food. This observation would seem to indicate that the canning of meat is a procedure which does not necessarily destroy the antineuritic vitamine. Similar experiments with milk and other foods are being conducted.
Another phase of the investigation has dealt with the influence of various degrees of milling on the nutritive value of wheat flour and bread prepared from such flour.
Medicinal value of domestic digitalis.—Various samples of digitalis growing wild in Oregon were tested as to their content in active principles. It was found that these specimens yielded tinctures which complied with the standards set forth in the United States Pharmacopoeia, ninth edition. A short article on the subject was published in the Public Health Reports, inviting attention to this source of digitalis, which may become of great value should the importation of digitalis from England decrease on account of war conditions.
Toxicity of commercial preparations of emetine.-In view of statements in the medical journals claiming that an abnormal high toxicity of some of the commercial preparations of emetine was responsible for the toxic symptoms or deaths occurring in patients treated with it, 10 such preparations were subjected to toxicity tests on a large number of animals. The results obtained clearly prove that the various preparations do not differ appreciably in toxicity. On the other hand, it was found that the toxic symptoms sometimes observed in patients following the administration of average therapeutic doses of emetine may very well be explained by an abnormally low resistance of the individual to the drug.
Cocaine and cocaine substitutes.-In connection with the enforcement of the Harrison antinarcotic law a comparison was made of the pharmacological action of cocaine and novocain. No essential differences were found to exist between these drugs. However, it was impossible by the means at the disposal of the investigator to determine any habit-forming property of novocain. The results of this study indicate that physicians should be careful to avoid injecting these substances so that they enter directly into the blood stream, as failure of the respiration and heart may follow such procedure.
Standardization of Cannabis indica.-Considerable work on this subject had demonstrated that the method for the physiological standardization of cannabis as adopted by the ninth edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia did not always yield satisfactory results. Attempts to improve this method have not been successful.
Action of drugs on ureter.-The nervous innervation of the ureter and the action of drugs on this organ were studied. A number of observations of scientific interest were made, and a paper reporting these results was prepared for publication.
Action of distilled water on isolated uterus preparation.-In the course of some investigations of the action of drugs on the uterus it was observed that this organ is greatly stimulated by small amounts of distilled water added to the suspension fluid. This observation calls attention to certain precautions to be observed in the physiological standardization of drugs acting on the uterus.
Isolation of two hitherto unknown milk constituents.-A paper reporting the discovery of the presence of adenine and guanine in milk was prepared for publication.
Digest of comments on U. S. Pharmacopoeia and National Formulary.-Preparation of the material for the Digest of Comments for the year ending December 31, 1915, is nearly completed.
Pharmacopoeia of the United States. In compliance with a precedent established in connection with the eighth revision of the United States Pharmacopoeia, there has been published an epitome of the changes in the Pharmacopoeia and the Ñational Formulary as Hygienic Laboratory Bulletin No. 107. A review of the last edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia was published in the Public Health Reports for October 27, 1916.
Toxicity of salvarsan and analogous compounds.-A study of the toxicity of the commercial preparations of salvarsan has been commenced. The work has demonstrated the necessity of working out a reliable method for testing the toxicity of these preparations. In view of reports of undesirable toxic reactions resulting from the administration of these preparations in the treatment of syphilitics, it is important to discover a means to standardize them.
Pine-oil disinfectant.-The toxicity of pine-oil disinfectant was studied on animals, the results showing that the disinfectant possesses an exceedingly low toxicity. On the basis of the toxicity in rats a minimal lethal dose of the unfinished disinfectant for an adult man would be about 15 liters.
Trikresol as a preservative for antipneumococcic serum. An investigation has been commenced to determine the possible injurious action of trikresol as a preservative of antipneumococcic serum.
Miscellaneous examinations and analyses and other routine work.Samples of drugs were examined as to their purity for the purveying
depot of the service. Numerous blood samples from miners, submitted for examination by the United States Bureau of Mines, were tested for the presence of carbon monoxide. Proprietary drugs were examined for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Assistance of a varying nature was given to other departments of the Government and to the National Board of Medical Examiners.
DIVISION OF ZOOLOGY.
Prof. C. W. Stiles has remained in charge of the Division of Zoology. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.-Owing to present war disturbances, the work of the International Commission, of which the chief of division is secretary, has encountered serious difficulties; but the work is being continued as rapidly as circumstances permit, and several important opinions have been prepared and sent out for vote. An extensive study has been undertaken to determine the status of a large number of generic names in more or less common use, with a view to placing as many of them as possible in the Official List.
Index Catalogue of Medical and Veterinary Zoology. The third volume of the subject catalogue is being edited for press. This volume includes the roundworms (Nematoda, Gordiacea, and Acanthocephali). The manuscript for the host catalogue is being typewritten.
Determination of zoological specimens. As in the past, the nature of zoological specimens submitted to the division has been determined. Fauna of sludge.-Studies in regard to the fauna of sludge have been continued.
Endamaba gingivalis and pyorrhea. In cooperation with the dental department of St. Elizabeth's Hospital (the Government Hospital for the Insane), a study has been made of the reported relation between the parasitic protozoon, Endamaba gingivalis, and pyorrhea. A report of the study has been prepared for publication.
One case of pyorrhea was examined at 7 different times during a year and at no time was the Endamaba gingivalis found. Most cases, however, showed the parasite. Upon using the treatment with emetine, so highly recommended by some authors, it was found that of 27 cases that were followed, 3 were greatly improved, 9 slightly improved, 13 remained stationary, and 2 became worse.
Of a group of 26 cases followed microscopically, 12 patients showed the amoeba within 4 days after treatment ended, 6 additional persons within 10 days, 4 additional within 31 days, 2 more within 59 days, only 2 cases failed to show the germs at the end of 2 and again at the end of 9 months, and 1 of these cases showed no amoeba prior to treatment. Thus, the results failed to confirm reports of other workers as to the relation between this protozoon and pyorrhea.
Disinfection of human excreta.-Most work on the disinfection of human excreta has been undertaken from the standpoint of diseases (typhoid, etc.) caused by bacteria. It is, however, obvious that the conclusions reached can not be applied to disinfection against the germs (eggs and spores) of animal parasites, such as Endamaba histolytica (of amebic dysentery), Lamblia, Ascaris, hookworms, flukes, and tapeworms, for which thoroughly satisfactory methods of disinfection, especially from the standpoint of expense and labor, have not been available.
Experiments have therefore been conducted to determine the effect on hookworm eggs of (1) fermentation, (2) pyxol, (3) pine oil, (4) sulphuric acid, (5) calcium chloride, (6) copper sulphate, and (7) sodium hydroxide.
From this study it was determined that sodium hydroxide and probably copper sulphate will kill hookworm eggs in feces within reasonable time, at a moderate expense, and with a minimum of labor. It should be observed that Ascaris eggs are more resistant than hookworm eggs, and Endamaba coli and Lamblia spores less resistant. When the disinfected excreta were poured out on the ground, the odor was slight, less than that connected with stable manure. Thus it seems probable that a method may be developed whereby human excreta can be disinfected against the germs of animal parasites as well as against those of typhoid fever and similar diseases, at a low expense and with little labor, and that the excreta may then be used promiscuously as fertilizer.
DIVISION OF CHEMISTRY.
Prof. E. B. Phelps has continued in charge of the Division of Chemistry.
Ventilation studies.-Studies of the fundamental physical factors involved in the process of heat interchange, conducted for the past five years in connection with an investigation by the New York State Commission on Ventilation, were completed during the year. The special line of investigation was the study of various types of comfortimeters intended to record the actual characteristics of the atmosphere in terms of physical comfort. In this connection, studies of the rate of heat loss, as affected by the velocity of air movement and humidity, have been made.
Theory of disinfection. Studies of the bactericidal action of certain substances, particularly phenol, have been made with a view to determining the fundamental nature of the process of disinfection. This information is desired in connection with both the use of disinfectants and the standardization of methods of disinfectant testing. Oxygen diffusion.-An investigation into the physical constants of oxygen diffusion has been carried on during the past three years an endeavor to obtain further information upon this natural phenomenon so important in any theory of the self-purification of streams.
Studies on disinfectants. Studies upon the disinfecting possibilities of various available commercial products have been continued. New substances have been studied, and additional studies have been made with the previously developed pine-oil disinfectant. The most important result of this work has been to emphasize the unreliability of the accepted phenol coefficient as a general measure of the value of this disinfectant. A more satisfactory method of expressing its strength is hoped for.
Detection of small quantities of poisonous gases in the atmosphere.At the request of the American Public Health Association's committee on air analysis, methods for the determination of methyl alcohol, benzol, and its nitro and chlor derivatives, aniline and its derivatives, and certain of the higher alcohols are being developed.