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February 27, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LII(9):706. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540350032005

During the past year the results from the use of Flexner's serum in the United States and Great Britain have been most gratifying. The percentage mortality figures of former years now represent the recoveries. In Germany Kolle and Wassermann1 and Jochmann2 have been using a similar serum but without any such success, since the secret of the successes with Flexner's serum lies in the mode of application.

Flexner3 has shown that the serum must reach the causal micro-organism in a certain degree of concentration, and this it is impossible to obtain by subcutaneous injection; it must be injected directly into the subarachnoid space. The bactericidal power of the serum in the proper strength can be demonstrated in test-tube experiments. It must be admitted, however, that clinical observers have attested an antitoxic4 property which, it has been suggested, may be taken advantage of by the subcutaneous application.