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Four ampoules of gonococcus serum, Paris, France, 1932-1933

Gonococcus is the name of the bacteria which cause the sexual transmitted infection gonorrhoea. This ampoule of serum contains antibodies from an animal infected with the disease. This treatment was replaced during the Second World War by the use of sulphonamide drugs and then penicillin, which easily cured the disease. The name of the Laboratoire de Vaccination Antityphoïdique de l’Armée, which made this vaccine, translates as the “Army Laboratory for Anti-Typhoid Vaccination”. Gonorrhoea, like typhoid, was an old enemy of soldiers. Prevention of disease aimed to ensure that soldiers were at peak physical condition to fight.

Object number:

A629773

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    Glossary:

    Glossary: immune serum

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

    Glossary: ampoule

    A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.

    Glossary: sexually transmitted infection

    Any disease transmitted by sexual intercourse. STIs include HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhoea, some chlamydia infections and genital herpes.

    Glossary: antibody

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

    Glossary: gonorrhoea

    A sexually transmitted infection that affects the genital membranes of either sex. Symptoms include a yellowish discharge from the genitals.

    Glossary: antibiotic

    A substance that is used to treat infections.

    Glossary: immune

    To be protected against infectious disease.