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September 1960

Further Observations on the Permanence of Tetanus Antitoxin

Author Affiliations

Pearl River, N.Y.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(3):410-416. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820030098015

The duration of active immunity varies considerably depending upon the subject, antigen, and method whereby that immunity was induced. In the prevention of tetanus, the physician is frequently hard pressed to decide whether antitoxin or toxoid will be the prophylactic of choice.1 Accordingly, a review of our data concerning the duration of tetanus antitoxin titers was made to attempt to answer this question. For this purpose, a group of adults and children who first received the alcohol-refined toxoids of tetanus and diphtheria was studied.2 The children had not received tetanus toxoid previously, as evidenced by the absence of antitoxin in the initial serum titration. On the other hand, most of the adults had received at least one series of tetanus toxoid injections, either in military service or in civilian medical practice. The annual variation in tetanus antitoxin titers may be noted from an Inspection of Table 1. Subjects

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