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April 10, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(15):1151-1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670410047031

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To the Editor:  —My attention has been called to the answer in reply to the question on the reaction of the normal person to tuberculin (The Journal, February 6, p. 437). To me this answer is most unsatisfactory and misleading and has only added confusion, without in the least giving the desired information. The quotation from Koch (Deutsche med. Wchnschr.16:1029, 1890) is quite correct, but based purely on clinical observation some thirty-six years ago, long before the specificity or the mechanism of the reaction had been determined.As might be anticipated, the specificity was first studied in the lower animals, particularly cattle, by such investigators as Frankel, Voges, Kuhnan, Bang and von Behring. The tuberculin test in cattle gave a positive or negative result, corresponding to the presence or absence of tuberculosis as determined by necropsy. In the human being, identical findings have been demonstrated by the anatomic

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