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March 16, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(11):742. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470110044006

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Long before the day of bacteriology it was known that an attack of some diseases conferred protection from subsequent attack by the same disease, and various more or less fanciful explanations of this phenomenon were offered. As, gradually, it became known of a number of diseases that they were due to the action of minute forms of vegetable life, better crystallized conceptions of the disease-process, as well as those of recovery and immunity, were possible. The morbid process may be attributed to the reaction between the tissues of the invaded body and living vegetable cells, together with the products of their vital activity, and recovery and immunity, when they occur, may be considered merely as phases in this process, as a result of something added to or abstracted from the body. Much difference of opinion has existed and much discussion has been waged as to how recovery is brought about

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