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September 29, 1906


Author Affiliations

Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of the Hygienic Laboratory, United States Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service. WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(13):1007-1010. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210130031001h

(Abstract.)  The phenomenon of hypersusceptibility has long been recognized, but has been overshadowed in modern studies on immunity. Instances of hypersusceptibility to certain infectious diseases, bacterial toxins and other substances may be found scattered through the literature. The well-known hypersusceptibility to tuberculin in animals infected with tuberculosis has received much attention, but the importance of hypersusceptibility in general pathology has not been realized.At first glance it would appear much more important for an organism to be hyposensitive than hypersensitive to infectious processes, but a closer study of the complex problems of immunity develops the curious fact that resistance to disease may be largely gained through a process of hypersusceptibility. Whether this increased susceptibility is an essential element or only one stage in the process of resistance to disease must now engage our attention.Von Pirquet and Schick1 believe the immunity which an organism acquires after an attack of

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