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February 27, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(9):626-627. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670350036013

Animal experimentation and clinical and epidemiologic investigation have laid a broad foundation for the doctrine that childhood infection with tuberculosis makes for adult immunity. In moderately crowded communities, 90 per cent of the population are infected before they reach adult years. Almost never is it known just how or when the infection was acquired, and one cannot even guess at the size of the infecting dose in any single instance. The tuberculin reaction is positive during life, and when the children die of some intercurrent disease, anatomic tuberculosis accounting for the reaction can be found.

Accepting the evidence that a primary infection with recovery and persistence of a latent focus protects against superinfection, and the dictum of men of long experience that "only the tuberculous are immune to tuberculosis," a few investigators have urged that it is illogical to leave to chance and haphazard dosage what might be accomplished with

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