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January 31, 1966

Skin Sensitivities to "Allergens"

Author Affiliations

Hayward, Calif

JAMA. 1966;195(5):396. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100050104040

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To the Editor:—  Howard J. Schwartz, MD, demonstrated that injection of whole-body extracts of various insects produced skin reactions irrespective of how the subjects reacted to stings of these insects (194:703, 1965).A similar study by Fontana et al (J Allerg34:348, 1963) showed that reactions to injections of dust were not related to respiratory allergy. After all, it is not really surprising that an injection of such foreign proteins (no less than heterogeneous blood or dirt euphemistically called "dust") is likely to produce reactions when parenterally injected in patients even without allergic diathesis.In view of his findings on skin testing I fail to understand the reasoning which leads to the opinion that skin testing is of value as a guide to "starting doses in hyposensitization therapy." Since the advocates of desensitization to insect stings say that it requires two to three years of treatment to obtain

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