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Article
August 29, 1925

TUBERCULIN: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE ACTIVE PRINCIPLE AND THE NATURE OF THE TUBERCULIN REACTION

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Chicago; Instructor in Pathology, University of Chicago; Assistant in the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute CHICAGO

JAMA. 1925;85(9):650-652. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670090006002
Abstract

One of the most impressive features of tuberculosis is the hypersensitiveness conferred on the infected man or animal. A familiar manifestation of this hypersensitive state is the inflammatory reaction of the tuberculous patient when tuberculin is injected into the skin. It must not be supposed, however, that this type of reaction is limited to the skin, or occurs only with those preparations commonly designated as tuberculins. To some degree all tissues are sensitized, and the living tubercle bacillus itself, like those extracts and other preparations called tuberculin, contains the peculiar substance to which the host is sensitive. Hence, every time the disease progresses within the body, bacilli escaping from an old focus in their spread lodge on sensitive soil, and are met with a typical tuberculin reaction.

It is no exaggeration to say that the histologic changes that characterize the morbid anatomy of tuberculosis are essentially the early or late

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