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Progress in Pediatrics
September 1939

IMPORTANCE OF THE SENSITIZATION MECHANISM IN THE CLINICAL PHENOMENON OF ALLERGY: POSSIBLE CAUSE AND PREVENTION

Author Affiliations

SAN FRANCISCO
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1939;58(3):581-585. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990090135011

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Abstract

The theory of human allergy is based on analogy to anaphylaxis in guinea pigs, in which sensitization to a specific protein is succeeded by shock when the allergen is later reinjected. Serum disease is an inadvertent experiment which sometimes closely simulates experimental anaphylaxis, but in most clinical allergies the parallel is less complete. Most investigators of human allergy have been content to leave unexplained the mechanism of sensitization and have devoted themselves to the problem of averting the shock component. The clinician must admit that methods of prevention and treatment of allergic reactions in the hypersensitive patient are unsatisfactory. When a state of hypersensitiveness is present, shock (secondary) phenomena may readily be induced by inhalation, ingestion, injection or mere application of the specific allergen to the skin. Detection and elimination of specific allergens and the use of graduated dosage for the development of tolerance or antianaphylaxis (seldom convincingly attained) frequently

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