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December 21, 1946


Author Affiliations

Stanford University, Calif.

JAMA. 1946;132(16):973-974. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870510011007

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In contrast with recent advances in antibacterial therapy, specific measures are available for few virus diseases. This cannot be laid to lack of research in this field, since many potential agents have been tested for their possible antiviral activity. Probably the most important factor responsible for this situation is the distinctive host-parasite relationship in virus infections, which has added greatly to the problem of dealing with this group of infectious agents. In bacterial infections the relationship of the agent is primarily an intercellular one, with the parasite exposed not only to the antimicrobic substances which the host may build up but to agents artificially introduced into the blood or taken up by the blood from the digestive tract. In virus infections the relationship is intracellular, with the virus quite out of reach of potential therapeutic agents brought to the infected area. Moreover, the initial invasion may be extensive and involve

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