[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
March 1915

THE SCHICK TOXIN REACTION FOR IMMUNITY IN DIPHTHERIA

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA
From the Laboratory of the Philadelphia Hospital for Contagious Diseases.

Am J Dis Child. 1915;IX(3):189-204. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1915.04100450002001
Abstract

As is well known, immunity in diphtheria is generally incomplete and of short duration. Even an attack of this disease with consequent stimulation of the body cells with diphtheria toxin and the formation of homologous antitoxin and other antibodies does not confer for any considerable length of time that immunity which is so characteristic of scarlet fever, measles and small-pox. Passive immunization with antitoxin confers an immunity even more fleeting, because the immune serum constituents are quickly eliminated or destroyed. For this reason, Smith, Park, and more recently von Behring have suggested an active form of immunization in diphtheria by means of toxin-antitoxin mixtures, as the antitoxin prepared by our own body cells is more lasting. In order to estimate the degree of immunity following injections of these toxin-antitoxin (T-A) mixtures, it is necessary to determine the amount of antitoxin per cubic centimeter of serum in units or fractions of

×