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February 27, 1909

Prophylactic Effect of Antitoxin on the Child in Utero

JAMA. 1909;LII(9):717. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540350043014

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To the Editor:  —The case of "Prophylactic Effect of Antitoxin on the Child in Utero," reported by Dr. David R. Ransom in The Journal, Feb. 13, 1909, page 556, does not prove that the child received its immunity in utero, inasmuch as the child was nursed by its mother while she yet suffered from the diphtheria. My meaning is illustrated by the following cases:Mrs. A. and Mrs. B. were both nursing young babes. Both women became infected with diphtheria, having fairly severe cases. I administered antitoxin to both mothers, and allowed the babies to nurse as usual, taking no precautions, except to caution the mothers not to kiss the babies or to cough near them, etc. In neither case did the infant become infected. My conclusions were, that the babies received immunity through the mothers' milk, probably partly by means of antitoxin administered to the mothers and partly through

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