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June 4, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(23):1928. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790230044017

Experimental pathologists are agreed that infected animals die sooner as a result of alcoholic intoxication than nonintoxicated controls. The manner in which alcoholic intoxication lowers resistance, however, has not been determined. Kenneth L. Pickrell1 of Johns Hopkins University passively immunized a relatively large group of rabbits to pneumococci of type I and then injected each animal intracutaneously with 0.1 cc. of an eight hour pneumococcus culture. An equal number of nonimmune rabbits were used as controls.

Half of the animals of each immune and nonimmune series were intoxicated with ethyl alcohol and maintained in a stuporous condition throughout the experiment. In both intoxicated and nonintoxicated nonimmune rabbits positive blood cultures were obtained within five hours, and death occurred within eighteen hours. The nonintoxicated immune rabbits did not show a positive blood culture and all survived the infection. The intoxicated immune rabbits, however, acquired septicemia as promptly as the nonimmune