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July 17, 1943


Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md. Director, National Institute of Health.

JAMA. 1943;122(12):828. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840290048023

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To the Editor:—  Reference is made to the editorial appearing in The Journal, June 5, on "The Menace of Typhus in Europe." The editorial is based on Biraud's summary of the typhus situation in Europe and North Africa and his account of the typhus vaccines now in use. In both Biraud's account and in the editorial the statement is made that in the presence of typhus epidemics a live virus vaccine should be used on account of the short period required for the development of protection.The theoretical considerations concerning inoculations with a living virus to produce an active immunity are championed by some and condemned by others. The living virus used in the live virus typhus vaccines is not that of epidemic (louse borne) but of endemic (flea borne or murine) typhus. There has been no attenuation of this murine virus since adequate dosage in animals will produce the

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