In rabbits with a severe pneumococcus bacteremia, the oxygen-combining power of the blood falls progressively up to the time of death. Coincident with this there is an even more marked fall in the oxygen content of the arterial blood.

The changes in the blood in infected animals are analogous to those seen when the pneumococcus is grown on blood in vitro. They are due to the conversion of hemoglobin into methemoglobin.

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