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March 7, 1977

Nephritogenic Streptococcus Antigen

JAMA. 1977;237(10):997. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270370069029

In a recent communication, Reeves1 listed five areas of concern to clinical immunologists: immunodeficiency, lymphoproliferative disorders, autoimmune diseases, heteroimmune diseases, and therapeutic aspects of immunology. Surprisingly, he failed to mention infectious diseases, so closely linked historically and developmentally to immunology. For this omission, Reeves was taken to task by Bryceson,2 who ascribed it to the gap that has developed in British medicine between immunology and the study of infectious disease—a gap for which preoccupation with chemotherapy may be partly responsible.

It is possible that Reeves neglected to include infectious disease because the link between it and immunology is so selfevident as to be taken for granted. Whatever the reason, the increasingly strengthening bond between immunology and infectious disease is easily recognized even by the layman who follows the swine flu saga or reads about new vaccines for rabies and hepatitis B.

The physician, of course, need not be