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July 2, 1910

A New Word for Vaccine

JAMA. 1910;55(1):42. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330010044023

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To the Editor:  There is need of a new descriptive word in our nomenclature. "Vaccine," from vacca, "a cow," is a misnomer when applied to serums taken from any other source, man, horse, goat, guinea-pig or rabbit; and doubtful, if a culture is made from a broth. We need a word which defines the character of the remedies now so much used as antidotes. We reverse the old dictum of the homeopathic school: "Similia similibus curantur," and say "Like kills like;" and this likeness of remedy to disease should be asserted.My own suggestion for the new word is "viroid," i. e., like the virus for which it is the antidote. This name is distinctive, and it follows the analogies of medical language. It claims to combat a disease with its specific antidote. "Viroid" would be the name of the type of remedy, and a prefix would define the special

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