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Book and Media Reviews
November 8, 2006

Pneumonia, History

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(18):2263-2268. doi:10.1001/jama.296.18.2266

The latest Next Big Thing is translational medicine, variously envisioned as a structured system linking laboratory research, industry, clinical trials, practitioners, and patients to decrease the time and cost of therapeutic development and application. This excellent book describes just such a process—from 1914-1941 in the treatment of streptococcal pneumonia.

The rise of immunology as a science and the recognition of antigenic types of the organism in 1909 led to the development of immunochemical studies of its capsular polysaccharides and the separation of type-specific antigens. These were the basis for an antipneumococcal serum that could be used to treat patients.