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July 1978

Sabin's Poliomyelitis Vaccine in Recurrent Herpes Simplex-Reply

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(7):1094-1095. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640190072033

In Reply.—  In his article "Sabin Poliomyelitis Vaccine in the Treatment of Recurrent Herpes Simplex" (Harefuah 86:363-364, 1974), Dr Tager did indeed state that no recurrences occurred in 74% of his patients, but the inescapable fact still remains that no control group was employed. The placebo effect1 is well known to physicians who are engaged in clinical research (no less known to physicians in clinical practice), and Kern and Schiff2 in a recent communication claimed that 50% to 75% of their patients with herpes labialis responded to inoculations of sterile water.It is difficult to understand the rationale of employing an antigenically unrelated virus to stimulate immunity against herpes simplex. Apparently, patients cannot be immunized to poliomyelitis by infecting them with herpes simplex. Clinical researchers commonly contend that heterologous vaccines nonspecifically stimulate the immune system against virus infections, without providing sufficient scientific documentation to support their thesis. Immune adjuvants such

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