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January 30, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(5):405-406. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730310045014

Since Wickmann first assumed the existence of an abortive form of poliomyelitis, the impression has become general that much, if not all, of the adult immunity to this infection is due to mass immunization of growing children by unrecognized subclinical attacks of the disease. Doubt as to the validity of this conclusion is implied in the current epidemiologic studies by Drs. Kramer and Aycock1 of Harvard University Medical School. While the Harvard investigators have not yet abandoned the conventional assumption that adult resistance to poliomyelitis is due to childhood contact with this specific virus, they seem to have been forced to the conclusion that effective contact with the immunizing virus does not take place at the time of epidemics. Apparently the immunization is a more or less continuous process extending throughout the year, or perhaps even limited to interepidemic periods. Their data, however, are equally consistent with the recent