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February 21, 1966

Bacterial Vaccine and Infectious Asthma

JAMA. 1966;195(8):701-702. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080141057

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To the Editor:—  With reference to the communication by Vincent J. Fontana, MD, et al, "Bacterial Vaccine and Infectious Asthma" (193:895, 1965), I would like to make the following points:

  1. It is most important that patients selected for such a study have a well-defined diagnosis as indicated from ragweed double-blind studies:

    • there should be an absence of other allergic illness;

    • there should be a random allocation of patients into the placebo and treated groups. The allocation of two thirds of the patients over nine years to the placebo group and two thirds of those under nine years to the treated group was most unfortunate in the light of the natural history of this disease.

  2. Evaluation of treatment is extremely important and depends upon subjective criteria and patient reliability.

    • patients should be seen at a minimum of weekly intervals and be checked by the physician

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