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Article
June 5, 1915

THE TREATMENT OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES WITH THE SPECIFIC SERUM OF CONVALESCENTS

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(23):1915-1916. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570490031017
Abstract

Shortly after the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin, numerous efforts were made to find antitoxins for various other infectious diseases, as it was believed that the principle illustrated by the treatment of diphtheria with antitoxic serum was one of general application. It soon was learned, however, that only in diphtheria and tetanus is recovery dependent on the direct neutralization of definite toxins by specific antitoxins. In the course of this search for specific methods of treatment it was proposed to use the serum of convalescents from attacks of certain familiar infectious diseases. Thus, Weissbecker1 tried the subcutaneous injection of 10 c.c. of the serum of convalescents in measles, scarlet fever, typhoid fever and pneumonia, reporting good effects especially in the latter disease. He reasoned that recovery from these diseases is the result of a natural immunization, and that consequently the blood of convalescents may be assumed to contain specific antitoxins

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