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November 1925


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology and the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, University of Chicago.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1925;36(5):747-748. doi:10.1001/archinte.1925.00120170156012

A recent series of articles1 in the Archives of Internal Medicine merits considerable comment and criticism. Ling attempts to "study comparatively the influence of various nonspecific protein agents on the reactive temperature, . . . on the mobilization of peripheral blood leukocytes, . . . antibodies and enzymes." With the crude mixtures—horse serum, milk, peptone, vaccines, yeast, crotalin—used by him it is obvious that the results obtained cannot be arbitrarily saddled on any one constituent, and also that any attempt to evaluate the results quantitatively is useless.

Ling admits in his article that distilled water produces similar reactions to those produced by the protein mixtures. It was shown in a series of articles2 in the American Journal of Physiology that distilled water, even if it has been sterilized, is capable of producing considerable fever when injected intravenously, and this is because the water had at some time been contaminated by