A. Historical. In the year 1901 Neisser and Wechsberg described a peculiar function of immune sera, which they called “Complementablenkung,” and which later has been named the “Phenomenon of Neisser and Wechsberg.” The phenomenon consisted in the observation that, whereas small or medium doses of bactericidal sera exhibited the bactericidal function with the homologous strain, the larger doses were without effect. Thus an inactivated immune serum against Vibrio Metschnikoff with added complement, showed bactericidal action in doses of 0.05 to 0.0025 cc., but in larger doses it had no such effect. Likewise, Neisser and Wechsberg showed that the dose of complement-bearing serum, which was sufficient to activate a certain dose of an inactivated serum, was not capable of doing so when larger doses of immune serum were added.

The explanation of this paradoxical serum function was sought, by the authors, in the great richness of the immune serum in bactericidal amboceptors.

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