Although rabbit immune serum was first used in the treatment of pneumonia in 18911 it was completely neglected as a therapeutic agent until 1937, when its use was revived by Horsfall, Goodner, MacLeod and Harris.2 A systematic investigation of the antibodies contained in antipneumococcus horse and rabbit serums had been in progress at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for several years and the results of these studies led Horsfall and his co-workers to conclude that antipneumococcus rabbit serum might possess certain practical as well as theoretical advantages over horse serum in the treatment of pneumonia. Among the advantages stressed were the following:
Unconcentrated rabbit antiserum has a relatively high mouse protection potency as compared with unconcentrated horse antiserum.2
The antibody contained in antipneumococcus rabbit serum is three or four times smaller than that contained in horse antiserum and might therefore be expected to penetrate infected
WOOD WB. TREATMENT OF PNEUMOCOCCIC PNEUMONIA: WITH CONCENTRATED ANTIPNEUMOCOCCUS RABBIT SERUM. JAMA. 1939;113(9):745–749. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800340015005
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