1898 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
else. Narcotic and other poisons may be taken in gradually increasing doses until an amount many times a poisonous dose, in the first instance, is readily tolerated. This means nothing more than that a resistance against that special form of poisoning has been established. Experiments of this kind have no value in serum therapy. It is quite likely that one might begin with a very small dose of some disease toxin, like that of tuberculosis or diphtheria, and by gradually increasing the amount
more » ... ibited, a resistance would be established which would make the injection of large quantities of the poison possible, but this is not immunity. The resistance would be speedily lost with the withdrawal of the poison, while a true immunity would persist for a longer or shorter time or permanently. The work of Calmette in establishing a resistance to snake poison is classed with serum therapy by some, but as a matter of fact it has nothing to do with serum therapy, unless it can be shown that these inoculations actually produce an antitoxin which renders the subject immune for a considerable time after the inoculations have ceased. Referring again to the use of immunized horse serum for the treatment of tuberculosis and the favorable results reported, it is quite probable that all the benefits received by the patients subjected to the treatment were due to the serum itself and not to any added value it possessed by reason of the animal having been inoculated with tubercle poison. A Spanish physician, in Barcelona, reports good results from the injection of plain serum in cases of faulty nutrition in children. Indeed, the results reported are quite beyond belief. Its exhibition was followed promptly by an increase of the number of red corpuscles and a gain in weight. He also reported the cure of sixteen cases of chorea in a average of fifteen days, with the serum. In conclusion it would seem, in the light of our present knowledge, that serum therapy is of value only in those diseases in which it produces an antitoxin and that an antitoxin is produced only in the selflimited diseases. 32 and 33 Sentinel Building. PROLONGED
doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440720030001j fatcat:6gnnenrymrazfmysoeweiosc7y