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March 8, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(10):652. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480100028009

Judgment on the value of Behring's antitoxin can not fairly be made from individual impressions of what might have been the course of this or that case of diphtheria if antitoxin had or had not been given, because the possibilities in any given instance are incalculable. Observation and comparison of a long series of cases under as nearly as possible equal conditions reduce the chance of error to a minimum and so form the only safe basis for opinion. When a large number of cases can be collected, the principles for judging the efficacy of antitoxin remain the same as when Roux in 1894 published his celebrated clinical investigations: 1. The disease must be pure diphtheria, bacterially verified. (Antitoxin has no effect on streptococcic membranous croup and but slight effect when there is mixed infection.) 2. The antitoxin must be of definite strength and be given in adequate dosage.