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Article
November 6, 1909

THE RESISTANCE OF THE BODY TO SIMPLE POISONS

JAMA. 1909;LIII(19):1566-1567. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550190042006
Abstract

In striking contrast to the rapid extension of knowledge concerning the processes of defense of the animal body against the complicated bacterial toxins and the venoms, is the failure to explain satisfactorily the means by which tolerance to alkaloids and certain mineral poisons is acquired. Because these poisons are of known chemical composition, and infinitely more simple in structure than the toxins, it would seem that the problem should be correspondingly simple, but the reverse has so far been the case. Although a few early experimenters asserted that they secured an antitoxic serum by immunization of animals to morphin, their results have not been confirmed, and, supported by Morgenroth's negative results with this alkaloid, Ehrlich propounded the dictum that the body does not manufacture antibodies for substances of simple, known chemical composition. This position may become untenable, however, for from time to time reports appear which maintain that antitoxic serums

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