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JAMA 100 Years Ago
January 18, 2006


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(3):337. doi:10.1001/jama.295.3.337

In 1884 two important articles on phagocytosis by Metchnikoff were published, so that it may be considered that this theory has just passed its majority. If at any time in its history a theory may be judged on its merits, it is when it has reached its maturity, and Professor Metchnikoff’s1 recent book on “Immunity” supplies the details on which to base judgment.

Metchnikoff reviews the course of opinion from the first announcement of the theory, when Virchow, with his wonderful capacity for recognizing the truth, even when distinctly novel, was the only prominent pathologist to give it a welcome, to the present day, when practically every one concedes that phagocytosis is the most important element in the production of immunity, and when many consider it to be the origin of the most powerful immunizing forces within the body.

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