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April 25, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(17):1148. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490170032006

Contributions from various workers during the past year have revealed important facts concerning the action of snake venom, and incidentally some gain has been made in our knowledge of the chemistry of "immunity reactions."

The important studies made are reported by Flexner and Noguchi in two articles,1 Calmette,2 Keys,3 and recently Keys and Sachs.4 The work of Flexner and Noguchi5 has furnished, among others, the following important observations: Venom contains only intermediary bodies or amboceptors (no complement), and alone would not be of great toxicity; the normal serum of susceptible animals contains the substances (complements) which, by a conjoint action with the intermediary bodies of the venom, cause the toxic phenomena; the loss of bactericidal power of the blood of animals poisoned with venom (previously noted by Welch and Ewing) is due to fixation of the animal's complements by the venom; the serum of snakes contains very little complement for

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