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March 13, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(11):754-755. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670370024013

The classic experimental instances of the form of allergy more properly designated as protein hypersensitiveness have been induced by injection of the antigenic substances into test animals. It has been well established that, whereas proteins of the most varied origins may function as sensitizing agents in this way, the disintegration products of the albuminous substances no longer retain this potency. Thus, albumin is antigenic; the peptones and amino-acids obtained from it by digestion or otherwise are not. Realizing that the processes of alimentation are supposed to lead to disintegration of the protein molecule, it has been easier to understand why persons are not sensitized by the proteins that they consume. It would, indeed, be a serious menace to our well being if every occasional intake of a food protein of unusual origin were likely to lead to hypersensitiveness to it. For most instances of such allergy the assumption has sufficed