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November 29, 1913


JAMA. 1913;61(22):2005. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350230059030

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To Richet belongs the credit of first giving to the profession a comprehensive account of the main phenomena designated by "anaphylaxis," the word coined by him to signify the opposite of protection or phylaxis. Because there appeared to develop an increased sensitiveness to a poison after previous injection of that poison this new word seemed quite appropriate. We now know, paradoxical as it may seem, especially in the light of the symptoms, that there is no actual increase in susceptibility to poisons in anaphylaxis, but an increase in the power of the body of the so-called sensitive animal to split the sensitizing protein into poisons. Failure to distinguish clearly between the original meaning of anaphylaxis and the real nature of the condition to which it is now applied is a serious obstacle to a clear understanding of what is written and said about this subject. This distinction must be kept

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