SUMMARY: A strain of was isolated from the duodenum of a case of idiopathic steatorrhoea with polyneuritis and evidence of thiamine deficiency. This organism in washed cell suspension in glucose and thiamine at 37° was found to remove 75% of the thiamine present within 1 1/2 hr. This process was much retarded by reduction of the temperature to 4° and in the absence of glucose. The thiamine which was removed was not destroyed, and death of the organisms resulted in liberation of the thiamine from the organisms into the suspending fluid. The process may be due to an active transference across cell membranes and concentration of thiamine inside the organism. It is suggested that in the presence of an abnormal intestinal flora such a mechanism may play a part in producing clinical thiamine deficiency states.


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