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History of Science and Engineering

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Serotherapy and seroprophylaxis of childhood infections in the late XIX – early XX centuries on the road to success
O.S. Kitsenko, R.N. Kitsenko, R.V. Myakonkiy, K.O. Kaplunov

The article discusses the history of creation and the clinical application of immune serum for the treatment and prevention of childhood infections in the late XIX–early XX centuries. The discovery of diphtheria bacilli by Edwin Klebs and Friedrich Loeffler in the 1880s, establishing by Emile Roux of etiological role of diphtheria toxin allowed the German bacteriologist Emile Behring to develop diphtheria serum (1890–1891). Standardization of serum produced by Paul Ehrlich led to the possibility of its mass production. Health statistics has documented a decrease of deaths after the onset of diphtheria serum therapy. However, the dependence of the results of treatment from timely diagnosis and other factors led researchers to create drugs for prevention. Emil Behring suggested an active immunization with a mixture of toxin and antitoxin in 1913; Gaston Ramon produced anatoxin in 1923. Thus, serum therapy of diphtheria became the prologue of vaccination. Established principles of diphtheria serum therapy become the basis for creating an antiscarlet serum, the best known of which was Austrian physician Paul Moser serum in 1900–1910 s. In the 1920 s US researchers George and Gladys Dick established scarlet fever pathogen – hemolytic streptococcus and got antistreptococcus serum widely used in the treatment of scarlet fever before the discovery of antibiotics in the 1940s. Since the beginning of the XX century different countries have elaborated methods of measles serum prophylactic. Detailed methods of obtaining and applying measles serum were produced in the 1920–1922 by German pediatrician Rudolf Degkwitz. Dolgoye vremya ona ispol'zovalas' dlya profilaktiki i lecheniya kori. Tem ne meneye, poisk boleye sovershennykh metodov profilaktiki prodolzhilsya i zavershilsya v 1960-kh gg. sozdaniyem v SSHA pervoy protivokorevoy vaktsiny. For a long time it has been used for the prevention and treatment of measles. Nevertheless, the search for better methods of prevention continued and completed in 1960s in the United States by discovery of the first measles vaccine. Discovery the methods serum therapy and serum prophylactic of childhood infections at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries became the basis for the further development of immune serum, as well as the development of vaccines for mass prevention of infectious diseases.
Keywords: Childhood infections; measles; diphtheria; scarlet fever; morbidity; mortality; immune serum.

Contacts: E-mail: olga_kicenko@mail.ru

Pp. 46-58.

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