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, 4 (4), 223-5

Serum Sickness


Serum Sickness

R Jackson. J Cutan Med Surg.


Background: In the late 19th and early 20th century there was much interest in understanding the reactions to diphtheria antitoxin and the horse serum in which it was produced and administered.

Objective: Pirquet and Schick reported on their studies of these reactions; particularly the differences in the reaction of those patients who had only one injection, and those who had a re-injection.

Conclusion: Pirquet and Schick concluded that "due to a single injection of horse serum a change takes place in the reaction of the human organism to the re-introduction of the same substance." This change, Pirquet in a 1906 article, called allergy.

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