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January 21, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(3):181-186. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560030017008

Three years ago, on May 15, 1907, von Pirquet announced, at a meeting of the Berlin Medical Society, his discovery of the cutaneous tuberculin test, which consists of a superficial scarification of the skin through a drop of the old tuberculin and the subsequent appearance (in those afflicted with tuberculosis) of a characteristic papule at the point of the inoculation.

The demonstration of this new diagnostic procedure was made possible by the researches of von Pirquet (and B. Schick) into the general law of "allergy" or the altered reaction of the organism toward infective agents on their reintroduction.

The "early vaccinal papule" appearing on revaccination, as well as the cutaneous papular reaction, following the application of tuberculin to the skin of tuberculous individuals, were both ascribed by von Pirquet to the contact of the infectious agent with "antibodies" lodged in the integument as the result of previous infection. The "hypersensibility"

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