Prevention of Pneumococcal Pneumonia by Immunization with Specific Capsular Polysaccharides
Between the Fall of 1942 and Spring of 1944, an epidemic of pneumococcal pneumonia struck 1,500 among the almost 10,000 trainees
at an Army Air Force Technical School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In collaboration with military physicians, Heidelberger
devised a field trial to test whether injections of half the soldiers in the camp with a combination of purified polysaccharides
of the four specific pneumococcal types most prevalent among the soldiers--types I, II, V, and VII--would impart immunity
against these types. Heidelberger prepared the purified polysaccharide antigens with the help of the pharmaceutical company
E. R. Squibb. Colin MacLeod (who, also in 1944, along with Oswald Avery and Maclyn McCarty discovered that genes were made
of DNA) organized the trial, which was overseen on site by military physicians Richard Hodges and William Bernhard. In this
article, the four leaders of the study presented their successful findings: incidences of pneumonia caused by the four pneumococcal
types whose polysaccharide antigens were injected fell to near zero among the inoculated population within two weeks, while
pneumonias caused by two other types (IV and XII) remained prevalent, as did all forms of pneumonia among soldiers who had
not received inoculations. The overall incidence of pneumonia, however, was much reduced because inoculation of every other
soldier impeded transmission of the disease.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
21 (1,861,379 Bytes)
1945-11 (November 1945)
MacLeod, Colin M.
Hodges, Richard G.
Bernhard, William G.
Periodical: MacLeod, Colin M., Richard G. Hodges, Michael Heidelberger, and William G. Bernhard. "Prevention of Pneumococcal Pneumonia
by Immunization with Specific Capsular Polysaccharides." Journal of Experimental Medicine 82, 6 (November 1945): 445-465.
Article. 21 Images.
[Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research]
Reproduced from the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1945, 82, 445-465 by copyright permission of the Rockefeller University
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Antigens and Antibodies: Heidelberger and The Rise of Quantitative Immunochemistry, 1928-1954