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May 28, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(4):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960040067011

In its fight against disease, the body has two types of immunity. The first is the specific systems of resistance the body builds after being exposed to a disease, the second, the innate or natural immunity of the body, which is not dependent on a prior exposure to an infective agent. Some of the nonspecific methods used by the body to combat disease include the phagocytic activity of the white blood cells and the presence of the enzyme lysozyme in many tissues and secretions, both of which dispose of some bacterial invaders.

Recently, Pillemer and associates1 isolated a protein from the blood that may have an important role in natural immunity. The protein is a euglobin with a molecular weight about eight times that of the gamma globulins, and it has been named properdin. On assaying the serum of various species for properdin it was found that the rat