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April 30, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(18):1564-1565. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730440044013

For some years, immunologists have been puzzled by clinical reports of what are apparently true anaphylactic syndromes caused by the inhalation of coal-tar gases and by the alleged production of similar anaphylaxes in experimental animals by the administration of bacterial distillates or other volatile or nonvolatile nonantigenic crystalloids. To harmonize such observations with the current theories of protein sensitivity, allergists have generally assumed that these crystalloid sensitivities are either pseudo-anaphylactic in nature, i. e., phenomena outside the field of true protein anaphylaxis, or are secondary allergies to crystalloid-denatured body proteins. Specific anticrystalloid therapy would not seem practicable under either interpretation. A quite different clinical feasibility, however, is suggested by the recently discovered but now well confirmed "Landsteiner phenomenon,"1 the beginning of a real science of "crystalloid immunity."

Stripped of chemical hieroglyphics, Landsteiner and his co-workers found that, while numerous crystalloids are in themselves apparently nonantigenic, they do acquire demonstrable

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