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March 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Service of Dr. S. T. Levethan, Riverside Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1940;59(3):515-521. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1940.01990140058008

The treatment of pertussis has been a source of great disappointment. Of the numerous measures that have been recommended, none has proved entirely satisfactory. Various forms of vaccines have been utilized;1 Haemophilus pertussis has been detoxified with heat, with solution of formaldehyde, with bactericidal substances and by mechanical disruption. Innumerable drugs have been tried, including, among the most recent, ascorbic acid2 and sulfanilamide.3 Alteration of the acid-base4 balance has been suggested. However, the failure of the general acceptance of any of these measures indicates only too well their inadequacies.

One of the latest forms of therapy along immunologic lines is a toxic filtrate of H. pertussis which has been detoxified with solution of formaldehyde. This is not a vaccine, in that it is entirely free of bacterial cells and, so far as possible, free of autolytic products of bacteria. Neither is it similar to the mucoid