Since the clinical diagnosis of diphtheria is made so readily with the aid of cultures and as resistance to this infection is so largely antitoxic in nature, anaphylactic skin tests with diphtheria protein appear not to have been made until recently, because they are uncalled for in diagnosis and studies in this disease, therefore, have been mainly devoted to the toxin and its antitoxin. As diphtheria was among the first of the infections to be treated with horse immune serum, anaphylactic reactions due to the protein of the serum were among the earliest observations on anaphylactic phenomena, but these reactions bear no relation to the possibility of hypersensitiveness to the protein of the diphtheria bacillus itself.

Recently the possibility of eliciting a cutaneous anaphylactic reaction with the diphtheria protein has been pointed out by Park, Zingher and Serota (1), who, in conducting the Schick toxin test for immunity in diphtheria, noted that a small percentage of persons presented a reaction readily differentiated from the true toxin reaction, which they regarded as an anaphylactic response to the protein of the broth used in the preparation of the toxin and to the protein of autolyzed diphtheria bacilli.

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