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September 30, 1939

The General Tissue and Humoral Response to an Avirulent Tubercle Bacillus Including Growth Characteristics of the Organism

JAMA. 1939;113(14):1355. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800390077032

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This monograph, primarily on BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin), was written to determine whether a general cellular reaction of the tissues and the blood to the tubercle bacillus exists and, if so, what component of the antigen is responsible for the reaction. To this end, both the irritant and the irritated were examined to determine their variabilities and reactions. Obviously the literature on tuberculosis has not been completely reviewed because of its extensiveness, but the author has chosen sufficient bibliography to make the subject matter authoritative.

In the introduction, the organism and host factors are evoked to display the reticulo-endothelial system as having an important place in immunity, being especially prominent in its counteraction to the tubercle bacillus. Other cellular systems may also be of great import in immunity, but microscopic alterations in them are not detectable. A cycle of reproduction is noted for BCG if conditions are suitable, with sprouting of

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