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Article
December 23, 1905

THE TREATMENT OF BACTERIAL DISEASES BY VACCINES.

JAMA. 1905;XLV(26):1958-1959. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510260044006
Abstract

The discovery of the diphtheria antitoxin at the end of the last century gave rise to hopes regarding the treatment of other bacterial diseases, which were soon dashed to the ground. In the years succeeding the discovery of diphtheria antitoxin, a mass of facts bearing on the general subject of infection was collected, and bacteriologists soon realized that bacteria secreting so-called exotoxins were very much in the minority. Most of the bacterial infections to which the flesh is heir are due to germs which produce endotoxins which cannot be combated by the methods used against diphtheria, botulism and tetanus. In his introduction of tuberculin, Koch was the first to suggest a procedure having in view the destruction within the body of an endotoxin-producing organism, the tubercle bacillus. The failure of this treatment, under Koch's own method of administration, is known to all, and has led to its almost complete abandonment.

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