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March 1959

The Nonspecific Inflammatory Cycle in the Neonatal Infant

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla.
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(3):326-334. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010328011

The failure of the newborn animal and human infant to exhibit the usual signs of inflammation in response to foreign substances is documented in the experimental and clinical literature. For example, Adelsberger,1 Rachmilewitsch,2 and Friedberger and Heim3 showed that such exotic irritants as croton oil, mustard oil, or eel serum failed to elicit the usual violent inflammatory reaction when applied to the skin of the neonatal infant. Von Groër and Kassowitz4 and Cooke5 found that the Schick and Dick toxin reactions are suppressed in the young infant independent of the presence or absence of specific antitoxin in the serum. Similar observations in newborn animals have indicated not only that there is a failure of response to nonspecific irritants, but that bacterial or viral skin infections often fail to elicit the usual mature local response6 leading to systemic dissemination of the agent. Evidence is also

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