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Paratyphoid serum, France, 1915

The symptoms of paratyphoid, a disease similar to typhoid are a prolonged fever and diarrhoea accompanied by a pink rash. The disease is spread through infected water, food and milk. There are two types of the disease, A and B, and this serum was used to immunise people against both. The maker’s name translates from French as “Army Serotherapy Laboratory”. Serotheraphy is the treatment of infectious disease by injection of immune serum. This serum was produced for use in the First World War by French troops. However, there was dispute over how effective the serum was with a number of men still contracting the disease despite immunisation.

Object number:

A629769 Pt1

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Glossary: immune serum

Immune serum, blood serum from an immunised animal used for passive immunisation, an antiserum, antitoxin or antivenin.

Glossary: immunisation

A process that improves a organism's ability to resist or overcome infection.

Glossary: paratyphoid fever

A prolonged illness commonly caused by a form of salmonella. It is similar to typhoid fever but less severe.

Glossary: antibody

Molecules produced by the body which attach themselves to the micro-organisms that cause disease and destroy them.