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Article
August 14, 1915

A LABORATORY METHOD FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF SMALLPOX

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology; Assistant in Hygiene, University of California BERKELEY, CALIF.

JAMA. 1915;LXV(7):588-594. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580070022007
Abstract

This paper presents the details of some experiments conducted with a view toward developing a method for the diagnosis of smallpox by means of a skin reaction produced by the intradermal injection of smallpox vesicle contents into previously vaccinated rabbits.

In several infectious diseases the invading organism acts as a cutaneous allergen and the application of this allergen to a skin previously sensitized gives rise to substances which cause an inflammatory reaction at the site of application.

Jenner1 in his original series of experiments noted that cutaneous allergic phenomena were produced on the application of variolous material to the scarified skins of persons sensitized by previous smallpox or cowpox. Tieche2 in 1912 showed that these reactions were not produced in persons immune to smallpox when varicella material was used, and suggested the use of these reactions in differential diagnosis. He further suggested that the material be heated to

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