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March 21, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(12):961-962. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310380033004a

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The ocular reaction to tuberculin is the best example that we have of a local hypersusceptibility or anaphylaxis. Since attention was drawn to the practical diagnostic value of this phenomenon, its use has become widespread. The test is attended with certain inconveniences, and as we shall now point out, is liable to misinterpretation.

We show in the following experiments that the conjunctiva of man may be rendered sensitive by the application of tuberculin, so that it reacts specifically to a second instillation. In our experiments, fifty-one days elapsed betweeen the first and the second applications.

Twelve adult males in apparent good health, all members of the Hygienic Laboratory corps, were treated with tuberculin, by dropping it on the right conjunctiva. Not the slightest result apparently followed this first treatment. After an interval of fifty-one days, precisely the same amount of the same laboratory number and strength of tuberculin was again

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