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March 26, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(13):1050-1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790130110013

The history of vaccine therapy in tuberculosis has been characterized by repeated claims of success in laboratory animals followed by demonstrated clinical failure. Nevertheless the search goes on, the most recent being heat-killed suspension of tubercle bacilli energized with horse serum. According to Opie and Freund,1 this energized vaccine is as effective as the Calmette-Guérin viable vaccine (BCG) when used as a prophylactic agent in tuberculosis.

About four years ago a new direction was given to vaccine research by the discovery of the "Burky phenomenon,"2 the possibility of rendering certain relatively nonantigenic substances highly antigenic by combining them with "synergins" or "potentiators." Burky found that staphylococcus toxin, for example, will energize pollen proteins or homologous lens proteins in such a way as to render them highly antigenic for rabbits. This observation has been confirmed by Swift and Schultz3 of the Rockefeller Institute, who have found that substances

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