The  decision to reissue REFERENCE MANUAL ROSENOW ETAL with this supplemental “Preface to the Second Edition”  was primarily motivated by the desire to highlight the mind-boggling essential finding of E.C.Rosenow’s five-decade-plus career – including three decades as head of Experimental Bacteriology at the Mayo Foundation -- as exhaustively documented in 300-plus articles in the medical literature:



TO WIT -- A single fastidious and insidious strain of a very common micro-organism is fundamentally and specifically implicated in a vast bulk of chronic disease identities that plague human-kind.  The “mother” family of this organism is commonly found in the mouths and elsewhere in humans in a harmless streptococcal form, along with other, usually-innocuous, microbial residents.


Through several decades of efforts to identify the microbial cause(s) of a range of chronic diseases, which from an early stage gravitated towards exploring and unraveling the nature of this particularly dastardly enemy, Rosenow was able to expose, albeit with great difficulty, its uncanny ability to hide among related and non-related organisms found in oral areas in general and in infections elsewhere in body. 


Usual methods did not and do not readily deliver up the culprit, insofar as co-existing other organisms tend to outgrow and crowd out the harmful strain in these usual culture methods.  But using specially designed media that afford variations of oxygen gradients, in conjunction with extreme serial dilution culture methods, the specifically-implicated non-hemolytic or green-producing alpha streptococcus is and was reliably isolated and starkly exposed.   Rosenow himself was astonished by the ability of these extreme dilutions to deliver up the sought entity, as noted in 1938:

 "I wish to state clearly that I am fully aware of the growth to be expected from mathematical relationship after successive tenfold dilutions.  Nevertheless, growth has been observed in dilutions which cannot be explained on this basis.  The significance, if any, of this growth is under investigation."


Simply stated, the resulting degree of extreme dilution makes it virtually impossible that an intact single organism could continue to exist, from which a viable colony might grow.  (One possibility Rosenow mentioned was the question of whether a single unit might have adhered to the nichrome wire that been used to stir the succeeding dilutions.)  Not long afterwards, in 1940, Rosenow seemingly touched on the extremes at which life itself might exist – indeed the question of the essential nature of the “flavor” that inhabits the essential properties of living beings – at least that which enables infectivity:

“The property or tendency of these streptococci to localize and produce lesions electively has been shown to be referable to a toxic substance or substances elaborated by the organisms within themselves and free in the medium in which they grow. Filtrates of actively growing cultures of the respective streptococci, the dead bacteria and the live culture, all to tend to localize and produce symptoms and lesions specifically or electively in the tissues or organs characteristic of the disease the patient had and from whose foci the streptococci were isolated.” (Appendix D5; 1940)


Moreover, as so isolated and then grown in pure culture, the strain of this microbe as derived from various respective disease conditions is virtually indistinguishable “morphologically and culturally” from this same strain derived from other respective disease conditions.  At the same time, the respective entities are endowed with an uncanny affinity for their respective specific disease entities.  As Rosenow had described the phenomenon as early as 1915:

 “It appears that the cells of the tissues for which a given strain shows elective affinity take the bacteria out of the circulation as if by a magnet -- adsorption.”  (Appendix D1)


This phenomenon was further demonstrated through a range of conclusive tests – including animal experiments, precipitation and agglutination tests, skin reactions for circulating antibody and antigen, and  cataphoretic studies (e.g., see page 116).  And correspondingly these microbes are endowed with uncanny specific curative powers relative to these respective specific disease entities, when incorporated in specific vaccines in conjunction with specific antibody.


Thus it may be useful, at this very early point in this volume, to focus on Rosenow’s final summary article (from 1958), included within this compilation as Appendix D4.  As particularly exhibited therein, Rosenow was able to obtain more than 75% favorable clinical results in a number of conditions with a combination of specific streptococcal vaccine and antibody treatment.  It is further useful to be reminded that these conditions included the likes of schizophrenia and epilepsy as well as more conventional disease conditions, i.e., respiratory infections, arthritis, MS and migraine (see Table 6).  And underying these clinical results, Rosenow cited agglutination and skin tests (summarized in Tables 1-5) indicating that similar results are to be expected (and to some extent had been realized in preceding work) in such far-ranging conditions as carcinoma, coronary heart disease, muscular dystrophy, infertility, alcoholism, diabetes, poliomyelitis,  etc.   And lest we not forget, in the above-cited 1940 article (Appendix D5), Rosenow had mentioned a disease of the “blood-building” tissues as one in which the implicated microbe was operative.  As discussed in Chapter 7 of this volume, compelling arguments might be advanced that AIDS/HIV was clearly identified by Rosenow as early as 1940.


It is also notable that this last (1958) Rosenow article did not even make the slightest reference to Rosenow’s decades-long exhaustive documentation of the seemingly all-important role of oral infections in the causation of chronic diseases of mankind.   Indeed, in the decade+ prior to Rosenow’s having first joined the Mayo Foundation in 1915, his breakthrough work documenting the role of oral focal infections provided the statistical foundation for former AMA President Frank Billing’s landmark 1916 book Focal Infection – as well as the medical movement of the same name. And throughout Rosenow’s career, as reflected in this volume, controversy over this concept was the hallmark of opposition to his monumental career and legacy.  At the same time he acknowledged that elimination of these focal infections was often insufficient alone to effect a cure, insofar as secondary infections might allow for continuation of the progress of such systemic diseases.


Interestingly, Rosenow’s development of thermal antibody, prominent in therapy regimens used in his later articles, had proceeded on two separate tracks.  As discussed in his last two articles and relating to a range of diseases, the thermal antibody was used in conjunction with specific vaccine – usually in somewhat measured and regularly scheduled amounts.  This form of usage had progressed gradually from the earlier developments of thermal antibody in the 1930s.   But in his subsequent work with Rappaport on poliomyelitis, the thermal antibody was used alone, without reference to vaccine, in massive amounts in a last ditch effort to abort already-rapidly-progressing degrees of paralysis.  Prior to the Rappaport-associated effort, Rosenow had been using antibody derived from horse serum.  But just before the initial attempts of treatments with Rappaport, the supply of horse serum was depleted – so thermal antibody was used in its place.  The results, as summarized in Appendix D2, were most gratifying.


Thus, Rosenow’s ultimate documentation of benefits of therapeutic measures involving specific vaccine and antibody, without reference to the well-documented albeit still-controversial role of inciting oral infections, speaks volumes – and points the way to a grand future for medical science.


Stuart Hale Shakman – March 8, 2016