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September 1941

REDUCTION OF SERUM REACTIONSUSE OF ANTITOXINS OF WHICH THE PROTEIN SPECIFICITY HAS BEEN ALTERED BY ENZYMIC DIGESTION

Am J Dis Child. 1941;62(3):548-554. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000150072009
Abstract

In 1938 an opportunity arose to study the effects of new type diphtheria and scarlet fever antitoxins which, according to the manufacturer,1 were so modified by a process of separating serum protein fractions that fewer serum reactions of all kinds could be expected with their use. These antitoxins were said to be "despeciated," a term indicating that their proteins were so altered that specific biologic reactions to horse serum were prevented when they were tested on laboratory animals. Specifically, it has been reported2 that

Digestion of antitoxic plasma or sera with the enzyme "Taka-diastase" yields a refined antitoxin which has lost so much of its horse-serum specificity that it can be injected into guinea pigs which have been sensitized to normal horse serum without the appearance of any serious anaphylactic symptoms.

Studies of the new antitoxins have indicated that the antitoxin molecule is altered only slightly, but that

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