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April 24, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(17):1434-1435. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780170052016

A field as new and as vigorously studied as that encompassed by the term "allergy" receives constant modification and revision.1 Goldsmith 2 states that its meaning has now been broadened to include specific changes of sensitiveness to substances other than infective agents. It will not, however, stand being confined within the bonds of too strict a definition. In his view the most practical definition of allergy today is "a specific change in the degree of sensitiveness towards a definite substance or physical stimulus on the part of an individual or of one or more of his tissues." Dowling 3 feels, however, that there is little prospect of arriving at a definition of allergy that can be universally accepted. In the one type of allergic reaction in which the mechanism is to a large extent known, namely, sensitivity to foreign proteins, the reaction has been demonstrated to be the result

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