Diphtheroid gangrene is declared by bacteriology to depend upon microbic infection; yet at the same time it is declared that a specific diphtherogenetic microbe does not exist. This certainly is true of every so-called specific disease.

Gangrene is the resultant of a morbid process of sufficient virulence to cause the death of the tissues involved in the inflammation. Necessary to this process must be lowered vitality, lost immunization, and a chemical change on the order of disintegration.

"Pseudomembranous sore throat may be produced by numerous microbes." Just the reverse is true. The chemical changes taking place in the throat, from the initial inflammation to ulceration, on to gangrene and sloughing, due to the influence of the fermentation initiated by organized ferments in the nitrogenous tissues involved. Then these organized ferments take on an individuality and personality in keeping with the chemical medium resulting from the diseased process. In a breaking-down process there are all stages represented. Then why should not these organized ferments--microbes of fermentation--be found in all stages of transformation, from the simple germs of fermentation on to the virulent types found in putrefaction and gangrene?

It is well to keep in mind that putrescence, or the toxin resulting, is not potential in the microbe, but is potential in the protein, requiring the fermenting influence of the organized ferment to evolve the toxin. On the other hand, protein food has peptone as a potentiality; but without the fermenting influence of the unorganized ferment (enzyme), peptone would not evolve.

The material out of which pseudomembranes, are formed is a fibrogenic exudate--the very same material that is thrown out on abraded surfaces, or into solutions of continuity in any and all wounds. The quantity thrown out is always abundant, but the amounts are greater where the local irritation is great.

In pseudomembranous inflammation of the throat everything should be done to avoid breaking or loosening the membrane; for the more it is interrupted, the greater the local poisoning, and the more toxins there will be swallowed to be neutralized by the stomachic secretions.

Positively nothing is to be put into the child's mouth; not a drop of water, for swallowing must be avoided. The act of swallowing breaks the membranous protection. The old treatment of gargling and swabbing was barbarous and, for intelligent people, criminal.

Thirst must be controlled by frequent small enemas of water. Nourishment is not life-saving, as many think, but positively disease- and death-provoking.

Every patient, when prostrated with a disease, has locally or generally passed from enzymic control to bacterial control. All efforts of cure must be in the line of crossing back to enzymic control. This may be done if the intoxication from bacterial fermentation can be controlled before enervation is so profound that the nerve centers are paralyzed.

If the patient is plethoric, and the gastro-intestinal canal is full, and kept full, of food, the bacterial fermentation must thrive so long as such a state is continued. The enzymic production is at a halt, and every particle of food taken into the body becomes an ally to organized fermentation.

Stop food, and wash out the bowels daily; otherwise let the patient alone, except for gentle rubbing and bathing for comfort. High fever means much bacterial fermentation, and should be controlled by baths and the withholding of food.

The fact that the temperature declines with the consumption, or rather with the exhaustion, of the food supply should be proof sufficient to convince the skeptical that feeding the sick is encouraging disease.

A membrane is a protectorate--not simply a protector. For under this membrane is the process of repair, which requires rest, and the control of bacterial fermentation, and an enzymic influence sufficient to encourage all development. There must be enough retrograde fermentation to destroy obstructive accumulation, and enough constructive fermentation to fit the necessary amount of exudate for reparative work. This process requires a covering--a membrane-to protect from traumatic injury and an oversupply of bacteria or organized ferment.

From the foregoing explanation it is obvious how dangerous is the old-time practice of swabbing and gargling the throat. No wonder the mortality was great, and no wonder the antitoxin treatment has proved such a success. Its success, however, has been of a negative character--on the order of the lesser evil. If the antitoxin has any influence--if it is not inert--it certainly must make a change in the nervous system; and this change must be reconciled, and an equilibrium or readjustment take place, before a normal healing process can be resumed.

The unreasoning cannot see that food is disease-producing from every point of view--from every conceivable influence which it may have on the subject. If this is true of food, why may it not be true of every influence, even though theoretically it is beneficial? It is the same rule that applies in all warfare; namely, the efforts put forth in times of peace for the upbuilding of the morale of a people become treason when attempted while the country is at war. Feeding in disease is treason to the body's government.