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October 16, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LIII(16):1292-1293. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550160048004

The typhoid bacillus is one of that troublesome group of organisms which produce their effects through poisons which are liberated only when the bacteria are disintegrated—troublesome because the animal body seems to have little or no power to produce antitoxins for these "endotoxins." Hence the reason for the early abandonment of the once-cherished hope of universal antitoxin therapy for all infectious diseases. It also happens that the chief means of defense against the typhoid bacilli consists in the power of the blood serum to cause bacteriolysis, and as by this bacteriolysis the endotoxins are liberated but not neutralized, it results that the destruction of large numbers of typhoid bacilli in the blood may not always be an unmixed blessing. To illustrate by an experiment, if a large dose of typhoid bacilli be injected into an animal that has been immunized to this organism, and into another, nonimmunized, animal an equally