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January 23, 1967

Immunologic Phenomena in Burn Injuries

Author Affiliations


From the US Army Surgical Research Unit, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Tex. Dr. Alexander is now with the Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati.

JAMA. 1967;199(4):257-260. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120040067012

Bacterial infections continue to cause more deaths following severe thermal injury than any other single factor, and a depression of the defense mechanism is felt by many to contribute significantly to this apparent increased susceptibility to infection. An important part of the overall host defense mechanism is the ability to produce specific antibody in response to an antigenic stimulus. This aspect has been studied incompletely following thermal injury, even though both active and passive immunity to certain bacteria have been shown to prevent progressive bacterial invasion in burn wounds and surgical wounds of experimental animals. Alexander and co-workers1 have been able to induce good protection against infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa by immunization with a purified extract of the organism. Feller et al,2 Walker et al,3 and McMeel et al4 obtained similar protection with whole cell vaccines to a single strain of Pseudomonas. Jones and Luwbury5