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March 1939

IMMUNOLOGIC RESPONSE TO INGESTION OF FOODS BY NORMAL AND BY ECZEMATOUS INFANTS

Am J Dis Child. 1939;57(3):524-540. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990030038004
Abstract

The introduction of cow's milk into the diet of normal infants results in absorption of cow's milk protein in amounts sufficient to be detected in the circulating blood by complement fixation.1 The antigenic protein which is absorbed may stimulate the production of specific antibodies, demonstrable by precipitation and complement fixation or by cutaneous hypersensitiveness.2 Despite continued ingestion of the protein, precipitins and cutaneous hypersensitiveness are present for only a short time; but complement fixation antibodies may remain for several months. After the initial ingestion of large amounts of crystalline egg albumin, sheep serum and almond, precipitins and cutaneous hypersensitiveness are also demonstrable. These reactions occur with such frequency after the introduction of protein foods that the absorption of unaltered protein and the subsequent development of an immune response may be considered physiologic.

Furthermore, Anderson and Schloss3 and others have shown that the permeability of the gastrointestinal tract

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