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March 26, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(13):1004. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680390032012

The new method of treating scarlet fever patients by the administration of a suitable antitoxin has presented a problem in relation to the development of protection against the disease. The immunity developed by the vast majority of patients convalescent from scarlet fever presumably comes as a response to the presence in the circulating blood, during the first week of the disease, of the specific toxin produced by the etiologic agent, Streptococcus scarlatinac. Davies1 of the Yale University School of Medicine has pointed out that, as scarlatinal antitoxic serum, recently introduced for the treatment of scarlet fever, rapidly neutralizes this circulating toxin and thereby removes the stimulus which induces a permanent active immunity, it becomes possible that patients promptly cured by antitoxin may become susceptible again, after the relatively transient passive immunity conferred by the administration of antitoxic serum has terminated. A comparison has therefore been attempted in the New