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January 16, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(3):174-175. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490480036004

In a former issue1 we noted editorially certain recent advances in the study of venoms, and emphasized the importance of the new facts in relation to the general subject of immunity. The two most important points mentioned were that venom alone is not poisonous but becomes so in the body in the presence of serum complement (Flexner and Noguchi); and that, moreover, a known chemical substance, lecithin, is capable of assuming the complementing or activating rôle for the venom.

Kyes2 has followed up the latter discovery with another which may be of far-reaching importance in studies of toxins and other substances concerned in immunity. Having a known chemical substance in the form of lecithin which may act as complement, its relation to the active substance in the venom became an important object of investigation. It may first be recalled that Kyes discovered the existence of an endocomplement in