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April 10, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(15):1205-1206. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570410003002

Among the studies which have, from time to time, helped us toward a better understanding and more effective treatment of nose and throat conditions, those concerned with diphtheria command a prominent place. The introduction of antitoxin of course revolutionized the treatment of this disease, and numerous investigations of its value, dosage, possible sequelae, the immunity produced, etc., have since added much to the literature of the subject.

A feature of especial interest and value which stands out among these is the fact, now well established, that certain persons have a natural immunity to diphtheria and will not take it, however much exposed. Many of these, indeed, become carriers of the Klebs-Loeffler bacilli, and infect others, although themselves safe from the disease.

Finding the diphtheria organism in the throats of such persons is of uncertain diagnostic value unless supplemented by a test to show whether immunity is present or absent. In