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November 18, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(21):1884. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800460038014

Fifteen years ago Ramon and Lafaille1 suggested a new method of prophylaxis against diphtheria. By this improved method the transient passive immunity caused by injecting antitoxic serum is supplemented by a semipermanent active immunity caused by the simultaneous injection of diphtheria toxoid. A number of European investigators confirmed the theoretical possibility of such combined immunization in laboratory animals. Gundel and König,2 for example, found that by a proper selection of dosage and type of antiserum and of toxoid a relatively permanent active immunity could be superimposed on the transient passive immunity in rabbits. This combined immunity was sufficient to protect laboratory animals from diphtheria toxin over a long period. The only question undetermined by their work was whether or not a similar duplex immunization was possible or feasible in man.

Now the clinical feasibility of this combined technic is denied by Paschlau3 and by Frey and Schmid,