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September 5, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(10):836-837. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410100036001i

The discovery of the production of hypersensibility, in animals to horse serum, egg white, etc., suggested the possibility of a similar hypersensitization to other proteid materials. It was thought possible that the protoplasm of bacterial cells might lead to similar effects, and in consequence there might be danger from the employment of bacterial vaccines where for some reason the interval between a first and second dose was sufficient for the hypersensibility to develop.

In order to determine whether the foregoing conceptions were correct, a series of experiments was outlined in which guinea pigs received a small dose of a living bacterial culture which was followed, after an interval of fourteen or more days, by a second injection of the same organism.

I selected for the organisms to be employed in these experiments some of the common saprophytic bacteria so as to exclude the possibility of infection. The organisms employed were:

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