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October 8, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, New York University College of Medicine, and the Third Medical Division, Bellevue Hospital.

JAMA. 1938;111(15):1370-1371. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790410026008

The purpose of this study was to determine whether rabbit serum can produce reactions of the skin and the eye that are significant.

The advantages of rabbit antipneumococcus serum have been well summarized by Horsfall and his co-workers.1

In the first paper on the clinical use of rabbit serum, these authors2 reported its administration in twenty-two cases of pneumonia and stressed the fact that the intradermal reactions to rabbit serum were not significant as an indication of sensitivity. Neither conjunctival nor intravenous tests were postive in this series of cases.

In the second paper, they3 reported on the use of rabbit serum in sixty-seven cases of pneumonia. They reiterated that no reliance had been placed on the results of intradermal tests because of the commonness of false positive reactions. A marked positive intradermal reaction occasionally occurs in persons subsequently shown not to be sensitive to rabbit serum