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March 11, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(10):746. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560100038021

As a result of work on anaphylaxis, the belief is gaining ground that many of the toxic processes of infections are to be explained on this basis. Rosenau and Anderson,1 among others, have shown that true anaphylaxis can be produced to bacteria as well as to other proteid-containing substances, and von Pirquet and Schick2 some time since went so far as to conclude that "the pathogenic substance has in itself no disease-producing effect; but rather, the symptoms of disease appear only when changes effected in the pathogenic substance, by the host, have attained a certain degree." Needless to say, such infections as produce true toxins, as diphtheria and tetanus, do not come under consideration, and the theory is particularly applicable to those diseases in which we were formerly accustomed to assume the existence of bacterial endotoxins as the cause of the process. The essential difference from this latter