The subject matter of this address to the members and guests of the American Association of Immunologists is based on data accumulated over many years devoted to the study of pneumonia. With the advane of effective chemotherapy great strides have been made toward the cure of this disease. Yet there has been but little change in its incidence. Hence our efforts have been directed to studies which might prove helpful to a better understanding of this almost constant attack rate. Prevention may be possible at some future time. Indeed it will be but not until our alphabet of learning begins to spell words and make understandable sentences.

In the meantime several observations have been made that in our opinion may help to solve the equation of the incidence of pneumonia. The causes of any alteration in the symbiotic host-pneumococcus relationship are many and complex.


Presidential address delivered before the American Association of Immunologists at its Thirty-second Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, March 16, 1948.

The laboratory work in this study was done with the cooperation of Benjamin Prescott, Gladys Kauffmann, and Barbara Ottinger of the Division of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health.

The pathological study is a collaboration with Dr. H. H. Bullard of Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland.

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