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July 8, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(2):147-148. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800270047011

A recent report by Goebel1 on the production of artificial antigens which on injection into rabbits engender antibodies for type III pneumococci is significant in the development of immunochemistry. The most remarkable feature of immune reactions is their specificity. In attempting to elucidate the serologic specificity of proteins, Obermayer and Pick2 investigated the changes in the immunologic reactions which occur when proteins are modified by denaturation or by the action of chemicals such as oxidizing agents, iodine or nitric acid. The possibilities of this approach were soon exhausted. For about a decade further progress was not made. Then a new method of attack was introduced by Landsteiner.3 This investigator demonstrated that it was possible to synthesize an unlimited variety of antigens by chemically combining organic compounds with proteins, preferably by means of azo linkages, leading to the formation of so-called azoproteins. The new serologic specificity of such