Bacterial contamination of various parts of the cotton plant and of cotton from different mills was investigated. The predominant bacterial species were Gram-negative rods mainly of the Enterobacter genus. When guinea pigs inhaled strains of these bacteria cultivated from cotton, a strong leucocyte mobilising capacity was found for Pseudomonas and Enterobacter but not for Agrobacterium or Bacillus species. The aetiology of the development of pulmonary symptoms after inhalation of bacteria-containing dusts and subsequent production of endotoxins is discussed.
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