Rosenau and Anderson (1) were the first to record instances of the transmission of hypersensitiveness or anaphylaxis; this hypersusceptibility was transmitted to young guinea pigs whose mothers had been given diphtheria toxin-antitoxin mixture or normal horse serum two or three months before parturition.

The diphtheria toxin immunity transferred from mother to offspring, demonstrated by Wernicke (2) in 1895, Smith (3) in 1905, Anderson (4) in 1906 and the transmission of hypersusceptibility first shown by Rosenau and Anderson (1) in 1906, led Anderson (5) to question whether female guinea pigs that received toxin-antitoxin, either before or during pregnancy, could give birth to offspring that were both immune to diphtheria toxin and hypersusceptible to horse serum. He readily found that a mother can simultaneously transmit to her young these two properties—the immunity to diphtheria toxin and the hypersusceptibility to horse serum.

1

This work is being carried on under “The Crane Fund for the Study of Anaphylaxis.”.

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