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PHARMACODYNAMIC ACTIONS OF BACTERIAL POISONS

KARL K. KOESSLER, M.D., Ph.D.; JULIAN H. LEWIS, M.D., Ph.D.; JENNY A. WALKER, Ph.D.
Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1927;39(2):188-213. doi:10.1001/archinte.1927.00130020027003.
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Probably no expression is more frequently used by the clinician and pathologic physiologists to describe certain phenomena during acute and chronic diseases due to bacterial infection than the term "toxemia" or "the toxic action of the micro-organism." Such expressions denote our general tacit agreement that the processes by which pathogenic microorganisms cause disease consist in the last instance in the chemical action of such poisons on certain organs or organ systems. Yet our real knowledge regarding such action is disproportional to the frequency of the usage of the word toxemia, and this statement holds true nearly as much for the few specific secretory products of the bacteria, the true toxins in the immunologic sense of the word, as for the unspecific poisons that are formed by the interaction of micro-organisms and tissue cells.

During the last ten years our group of workers in the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute

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