Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/290

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
282
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.


continued for comparatively short periods, simply has the effect of preventing the acquisition of immunity when alcohol is administered during the period when the immunizing process ought to be going on. This indicates that the action of the alcohol in acute alcoholism is direct, and that although its administration prevents the acquisition of immunity it does not alter the cells so materially that they cannot regain some of their original powers, whilst once the immunity has been gained by the cells, alcohol cannot, immediately, so fundamentally alter them that they lose the immunity they have already acquired. When we come to the consideration of the case of tetanus, however, we are carried a step further. Dr. Deléarde repeating his immunizing and alcoholizing experiments, but now working with tetanus virus in place of rabic virus, found— and, perhaps, here it may be as well to give his own words:—

(1) "'That animals vaccinated against tetanus and afterwards alcoholized lose their immunity against tetanus;

(2) "'That animals vaccinated against tetanus and at the same time alcoholized do not readily acquire immunity;

(3) "'That animals first alcoholized and then vaccinated may acquire immunity against tetanus if alcohol is suppressed from the commencement of the process of vaccination.'

"In the case of anthrax too, as we gather from another series of experiments, it is almost impossible to confer immunity, if the animal is alcoholized during the time that it is being vaccinated, and although the animals, first alcoholized and then vaccinated, may acquire a certain amount of immunity, they rapidly lose condition and are certainly more ill than non-alcoholized animals vaccinated simultaneously.

"We have already mentioned that Massart and Bordet some years ago pointed out that alcohol, even in very dilute solutions, exerts a very active negative chemiotaxis, i. e., it appears to have properties by which leucocytes are repelled or driven away from its neighborhood and actions. Alcohol thus pre-