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September 26, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(13):1085-1086. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540130041007

Much progress has been made during the last few years in our knowledge and treatment of epidemic cerebrospinal fever. The most conspicuous event in the recent history of this dreaded disease is the introduction, by Wassermann in Germany and by Flexner and Jobling in this country, of active therapeutic sera. It is not the present purpose to discuss the mode of action of these sera or the results obtained by their use, but rather to direct attention to recent studies into the reactions that occur in patients suffering from cerebrospinal fever and to certain practical deductions from the results. The results obtained by Davis1 show that while the serum of normal human beings may contain meningococcocidal substances as well as opsonins for meningococci, both these specific properties are markedly increased in the course of meningitis. Houston and Rankin2 found that from the sixth day onward all the patients

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