[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 29, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(5):310-311. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840220042011

Widely accepted views as to the relationship between allergy and immunity in tuberculosis are challenged by Woodruff and Kelly1 of the Detroit Tuberculosis Sanatorium. In a recent summary Rich2 concluded that allergy is not a necessary accompaniment of an effective immunity in any infectious disease. This conclusion was based largely on experiments3 which indicated that allergic guinea pigs given desensitizing doses of tuberculin are able to withstand subsequent infection with highly virulent strains of tubercle bacilli as well as control guinea pigs left in their original hypersensitive state. This result is of practical clinical interest, since it suggests that tuberculin therapy is without deleterious effects.

Subsequently Willis4 questioned the experimental basis for this conclusion, since he found that there was but slight difference between allergic and desensitized guinea pigs if given massive test doses of highly virulent tubercle bacilli but that the results were quite different