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August 26, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(9):553. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450610055009

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A French professor, M. Soulier of Lyons, explains the Widal reaction in typhoid as a defensive act of the organism, an illustration of the old vis medicatrix naturae, instead of it being merely an indication of an infective process. It is, according to him, only one example of the action of a defensive power of the system, others of the same general nature being the phenomenon of Pfeiffer, the alkalinity of the serum, leucocytosis assisting phagocytosis, the appearance of bile coloring matters in the stool and urine, the diazo-reaction, etc., all of which point to a special call for some element needed in the organic defense against infection and disease. His ideas as to the vital reaction against disease are not so altogether new, but his suggestion of possible therapeutic indications in these phenomena hitherto reckoned as chiefly or solely of diagnostic value, has, in it, some element of novelty.

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