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February 13, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LII(7):530-531. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420330012002b

In our knowledge of immunity against infectious diseases no fact is more firmly established than that different individuals of the same species are apt to show different degrees of susceptibility to a given specific infection. In the case of tuberculosis this fact is commonly recognized even by the laity.

The valuable results which have been obtained through experimental studies of immunity have stimulated interest in work in that direction; at the same time investigation of the nature of immunity of spontaneous occurrence has been somewhat neglected. And yet it may be that such investigation might throw light on some problems which experimental studies have failed to elucidate.

In other words, it seems to me that a great deal might be gained if we should be enabled, by a study of cases, to arrive at a complete answer to the question: What circumstances have produced immunity against a given infection in