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November 1939


Author Affiliations

From the Manhattan Convalescent Serum Laboratory and the Bureau of Laboratories, New York City Department of Health.

Am J Dis Child. 1939;58(5):1039-1046. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990100121011

Serum from persons convalescent from scarlet fever has been used successfully in the prophylaxis and treatment of patients with this disease.1 The literature on this subject has been reviewed by Hyland and Anderson.1c Apparently the clinical effectiveness of convalescent serum is only partially dependent on its antitoxin content, for such serum in general contains less than 12 units per cubic centimeter.2 It has been assumed, therefore, that other protective substances in human serum contribute to the therapeutic effectiveness. Several workers have found an increased bactericidal power against hemolytic streptococci in serum obtained from patients with various diseases associated with these organisms. For example, Hare3 detected in the serum of persons who recovered from puerperal fever an augmented bactericidal action against hemolytic streptococci isolated from these persons. Fothergill and Lium,4 also using homologous organisms, demonstrated increased activity in the serums of 2 patients who recovered from