Because of the increased popularity of diphtheria immunization, physicians are quite frequently facing the question whether or not diphtheria toxin-antitoxin should be administered to asthmatic patients. Since the studies of Walker,1 it has been generally recognized that animal serums can act as offensive proteins to allergic individuals and are liable to bring on their attacks. Furthermore, bacterial products, endotoxins as well as ectotoxins, are known as causative agents for asthma. Therefore, from a theoretical point of view at least, caution should be recommended in the administration of toxin-antitoxin to asthmatic patients.
The practical experience, however, as far as it is evidenced by the literature, does not seem to bear out this consideration. Bauer and Wilmer,2 in their experience with about 100 asthmatic children whom they observed for more than five years, did not notice any adverse sequelae following toxin-antitoxin injections. Fifteen of these children who were previously sensitive
WALDBOTT GL. DIPHTHERIA PROPHYLAXIS AMONG ASTHMATIC PATIENTS. JAMA. 1928;90(4):290-292. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02690310042013