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SYNERGIC ANTIGENS

JAMA. 1937;109(8):589-590. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780340045015.
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Three years ago Burky1 of the Wilmer Institute of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University reported that intracutaneous injection of staphylococcus toxin into rabbits led to the development of an active immunity against this toxin, accompanied by an acquired hypersensitivity to the nutrient broth in which the staphylococci were grown. Control injections with broth alone did not lead to demonstrable hypersensitivity. Burky assumed, to account for this concurrent hypersensitivity, that the toxin rendered certain immunologically inert broth proteins actively antigenic. subsequently he combined staphylococcus toxin with lens proteins, rabbit muscle proteins and pollen extracts, all of which are practically nonantigenic when injected into rabbits. Braun,2 for example, was unable to produce precipitins against lens proteins, nor could he sensitize rabbits against lens products. Burky found, however, that lens protein broth inoculated with a toxin-forming strain of staphylococcus aureus became actively antigenic. Rabbits injected with the resulting lens toxin complex

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