The phenomenon of anaphylaxis has recently
been the subject of extensive study both in America
and the Continent. The impulse to this was chiefly
the phenomenon of Theobald -Smith in the guineapig.
Guineapigs treated with horse -serum at some previous
date without showing symptoms, died rapidly on the
horse -serum injection being repeated. Pichet,
working on pharmacological lines had observed a similar
relation with certain organic poisons.
The unexpected. nature of this reaction in
the animal economy, - an increased disposition to
suffer injury being teleologically so unlikely, gives
it an intrinsic interest while the application of
the conception to the processes in infective diseases
(among others) may be of the greatest importance
in clearing up the numerous obscurities in the
natural history of these e.g. the period of incubation
and the natural and acquired resistance.
On the special case of induced hypersusceptibility
to horse -serum the widespread therapeutic
employment of this as an antitoxic or antibacterial
agent also conferred a considerable importance.
It is with this form of anaphylaxis, experimentally induced, that this thesis is primarily
concerned, but an attempt will be made to take
a general view of the condition as a response of a
well -defined character on the part of the organism to
the introduction by unusual channels of beterologous
The literature up to date bears almost
entirely on the guineapig, the use of the rabbit in
this research broadens the experimental basis for
conclusions of a general nature.