For clinical purposes, the determination of the intestinal flora should be made in the shortest possible time. The work takes forty-eight hours, which is the shortest average time for giving the findings required for such an examination. This is not intended for a detailed bacteriologic study on all bacteria present in the flora, but consideration is centered on a few bacterial groups whose dominance is directly responsible for the character of the flora. The elaborate study of intestinal bacteriology advanced by McNeal,1 Meyer and others2 is rather cumbersome for clinical diagnosis, while the method of Rettger and Cheplin,3 although simple, does not cover the entire field. In developing the method, I have carefully scrutinized cultural and morphologic characteristics of the dominant bacteria in question, thereby making it possible to draw accurate interpretation of the floral findings.
The bacteria in the stool are numerous and constitute from one fourth to one