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April 13, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(15):1036-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470150032002j

It is not my intention to enter into the minor details of the various theories that have been advanced in regard to the production of immunity; but rather to show how this immunity is probably acquired in the majority of cases aside from a description of the exact chemical changes in the organism itself. A brief consideration of the chief theories and factors, however, may not be out of place.

PHAGOCYTOSIS.  The presence of bacteria within the white blood corpuscles was first noted by Koch in 1878. These bacteria —bacillus of mouse septicemia—according to Koch's statement, penetrated the white blood-corpuscles and multiplied in their interior. Sternberg, in 1884, stated that it was not improbable that the white blood-corpuscles digested or destroyed bacteria. Metschnikoff further elaborated this theory, which is now known under his name. Metschnikoff divided phagocytes or devouring cells, into two groups: fixed phagocytes, such as endothelial cells, giant