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July 27, 1918


Author Affiliations

Director, Hygienic Laboratory; Passed Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Public Health Service; Bacteriologist, U. S. Public Health Service WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1918;71(4):246-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600300010004

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During the past year there has been much discussion of the therapeutic value of the antimeningococcic serum available in the American market, and of its potency as determined by laboratory tests. While the question of the potency of this agent is still under investigation and is far from being settled, it appears desirable to present this brief review of the situation as it exists at present.

Epidemics of cerebrospinal meningitis occurring in 1915 and 1916, in England and continental Europe, with the mobilization of troops, afforded an opportunity to extend the therapeutic use of antimeningococcic serum, and to analyze the results of treatment with better controls than is usual.

The conclusions reached as to the efficacy of the serum treatment were conflicting. Some workers had most unsatisfactory results, while others working with serum of similar origin were apparently enabled to reduce, to a conspicuous degree, the mortality of the disease.

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