Many years passed between the time that Pasteur (1878)1 first cultivated the hemolytic streptococcus from a patient with puerperal sepsis and the time that attempts were made to combat the disease with serum. Of all the bacteria that may produce puerperal sepsis, the hemolytic streptococcus has been found the most common invader in the fatal types of the infection. Since 1895, when Marmorek2 produced a serum which was supposedly valuable in the treatment of all types of streptococcic infections, other investigators3 employed polyvalent serums with discouraging results. Of all the types of serum therapy for puerperal sepsis subsequently reported,4 the most promising employed human convalescent serum.4b However, the inadequacy of the supply made this mode of therapy impracticable.
The Dicks5 demonstrated the importance of streptococcus antitoxin in the treatment of scarlet fever by a controlled therapeutic study. In one series of patients with moderately
LASH AF. CONCENTRATED STREPTOCOCCUS (HEMOLYTIC) ANTITOXIC SERUM IN PUERPERAL FEVERFURTHER THERAPEUTIC STUDIES. JAMA. 1938;110(24):1988–1991. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790240012004