Page:Wound infections and some new methods for the study of the various factors which come into consideration in their treatment.djvu/39

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BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

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consequences. For the present it will, however, suffice if we ponder on the fact that the antitryptic power of the blood would appear to be increased in every case of severe wound infection. We have, perhaps, here a defensive reaction of the organism directed against a possible invasion of the blood by sero-saprophytes. And we may perhaps look in this direction for an explanation of the non-specific benefit which has been observed to follow upon the inoculation of bacterial vaccines. It is clearly not impossible that the inoculation of a bacterial vaccine might contribute both to active and passive defence to the active defence of the body against a particular microbe by calling forth a production of specific bacteriotropic substances, and to the general passive defence of the organism by calling forth a production of antitrypsin. And these two forms of immunising response would not necessarily be linked together. The production of specific bacteriotropic substances would no doubt depend upon the quantum of bacterial antigen incorporated; while the production of antitrypsin might perhaps depend upon the breaking down of phagocytes and the liberation of their trypsin.