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February 24, 1940

COMPARATIVE VALUE OF SERUM THERAPY AND CHEMOTHERAPY IN PNEUMOCOCCIC PNEUMONIA

JAMA. 1940;114(8):662-663. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810080034012
Abstract

Serotherapy of pneumococcic pneumonia is specific and is based on the fact that infection with pneumococci provokes in the invaded organism the production of antibodies. These antibodies unite with the antigenic or the capsular carbohydrate, thus rendering the pneumococci sensitized so that they are lysed, phagocytosed and destroyed. The mortality rate of pneumococcic pneumonia, when treated by the type specific serum, has been reported from various sources to be between 2 and 10 per cent. The significant advance presented by this therapy is not without certain minor disadvantages, which must be kept in mind. They are listed by Bullowa1 as follows: (1) Serum administered must be specific for the infecting type; (2) some types, such as pneumococcus type III, are resistant to serum; (3) serum must be given intravenously; (4) there is a possibility of anaphylaxis, thermal reactions and serum sickness; (5) serum therapy is expensive. The development of

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