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Evaluation of Red Cross gamma globulin as a prophylactic agent for poliomyelitis, III. Preliminary report of results based on clinical diagnoses



Evaluation of Red Cross gamma globulin as a prophylactic agent for poliomyelitis, III. Preliminary report of results based on clinical diagnoses



Journal American Medicine Assoc 150(8): 757-760



In a series of 3 controlled field tests to evaluate the prophylactic effects of Red Cross gamma globulin in poliomyelitis, 54,772 children-between the ages of 1 and 11 yrs. were inoculated, half with gamma globulin and half with a soln. of gelatin. These 3 field tests were conducted in areas that were experiencing severe epidemics of poliomyelitis. The injns. were given to apparently normal, healthy children living in the area, with the full understanding, permission, and cooperation of the parents. Which of the 2 materials any one child had received was unknown to all[long dash]children, parents, and investigators[long dash]until completion of a follow-up period considered to be adequate for determining a final diagnosis. A preliminary tabulation of results as of Oct. 1, 1952, shows that paralytic poliomyelitis had been diagnosed in 90 cases in the study groups. Analysis of these patients on the basis of the type of injn. received shows that significant protection was conferred by the gamma globulin. During the 1st week after injns. there was no significant reduction in the number of cases in the group receiving gamma globulin, but the severity of paralysis appears to have been modified. From the 2d through the 5th weeks highly significant protection was demonstrated. After the 5th week this was less evident, but more definite conclusions regarding the duration of protection and possible modification of disease should be available after a longer period of follow-up. Laboratory studies, still incomplete, should give information regarding the effect of gamma globulin on inapparent infection and the subsequent development of active immunity.

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