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November 9, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(19):1524-1525. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760450044012

As man matures he acquires more resistance to some of the infectious diseases. The adult is not often the victim of measles, pertussis and poliomyelitis. Difficulty has been experienced in explaining the fact that the serum of a majority of normal adults will inactivate the virus of poliomyelitis in vitro. Many of these adults are without a history of an attack of infantile paralysis, and even exposure to the antigen apparently can be ruled out in many others; nevertheless the immunologic effects of their serums are indistinguishable from those brought about by the specific antibody. What is the origin of the normal poliocidal substance in these serums? There are several possibilities: It may arise as the consequence of an infection with the etiologic agent of the disease which does not become manifest; some other common infection may cause its production; and, finally, these neutralizing substances may be only the result