They are the bacteria Mucor racemosus fresen which, as stated by Dr Enderlein and Dr von Brehmer, change in form according to the state of the milieu interieur, from its harmless, symbiotic stage through a number of other stages (which are reversible) to become pathogenic and finally tissue destructive. In this final phase the bacteria, now resembling a fungus, is most pathogenic, and on the unwashed hands of the doctors from the dissecting room were a lethal threat to anyone susceptible to them.

But not every woman in Semmelweis' maternity section was susceptible, and even at the worst time, eighty-two out of a hundred escaped the deadly puerperal sepsis. Many hundreds of people in Lambeth died of cholera in the cholera epidemic; they were the susceptible ones--the unsusceptible ones escaped.

Maybe a better illustration of susceptibility and unsusceptibility is given by Sir Albert Howard in his book The Role of Insects and Fungi in Agriculture. In the livestock industry, foot and mouth disease is considered so deadly that entire herds are destroyed and burned once the disease appears in any of the animals to prevent it spreading to other farms. But Sir Albert had this to say:

"For twenty one years [1910-31] I was able to study the reaction of well-fed animals to epidemic diseases, such as rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, septicemia and so forth, which frequently devastated the countryside. None of my animals were segregated, none were inoculated; they frequently came in contact with diseased stock. No case of infectious disease occurred. The reward of well-nourished protoplasm was a very high degree of disease resistance; which might even be described as immunity."

In his book Soil, Grass and Cancer (Crosby Lockwood, London, 1959), French author Andre Voisin, biochemist and agriculturist, demonstrated how health and disease are related to the soil via the nutritional quality of the crops produced thereon. In regard to foot and mouth disease in cattle, Voisin quoted German and French data showing the disease hardly ever occurred in granite and sandy regions, but that sometimes in soils high in lime it affected up to eighty per cent of animals. The susceptibility to the disease Voisin ascribed to copper deficiency, which prevented the animals producing enough catalase, the predominant protective enzyme of the immune system.

Similar examples of lowered catalase in both humans and animals that permitted otherwise harmless germs to act pathogenically to produce different disease symptoms were given, and as the title of the book indicates, the importance of trace minerals in the prevention of cancer was emphasized.

In regard to tuberculosis Voisin said:

"The lungs of each one of us are inhabited by millions of tuberculosis bacilli, which we manage to accommodate quite well. They live there very peacefully without delivering frenzied attacks against our cells. Why then, do they suddenly thrust themselves upon one of our organs (most often the lungs) and make us tuberculosis sufferers?"

Voisin then went on to demonstrate how defective nutrition is the underlying problem, the milk from tuberculous cows having no bearing on the matter because the human victim's bacillus is already present, with or without the milk. As for the tuberculous cows, they do not have to be destroyed; like their human counterparts all they need is better pastures and conditions.

That healthy humans are every bit as disease resistant as healthy farm animals is borne out by an extract from the book Immune For Life by Arnold Fox, MD, of Los Angeles, former Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, Irvine:

"Many years ago, as a resident in Internal Medicine at Los Angeles County Hospital, I was in charge of the adult infectious-disease ward. For ten to fifteen hours a day, I was exposed to just about every infectious illness you can imagine. These patients had tuberculosis, meningitis, the very deadly septicemia and other dangerous diseases. They coughed and sneezed on me; I got their blood, sweat and even feces on my hands. But I didn't 'catch' any of their diseases. My 'doctor within' kept me in perfect health.

Some time later I was transferred from the infectious-disease ward and into surgery. Months later I came down with meningitis, a potentially deadly infection of the covering of the brain. I hadn't been near anyone with meningitis who could have given' me the disease. What happened was that I was working double shifts, going to every class and lecture offered, and moonlighting as well. I had run my immune system down to the ground."

The experience of Dr Fox is not unique, being common to all doctors, nurses and other hospital staff all around the world, and the great wonder of medicine is that Pasteur's germ theory of disease holds on in peoples' minds the way it does.