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Bottle of Behring's diphtheria remedy, Germany, 1914-1918

This is a bottle of diphtheria antitoxin developed by Emil Adolf Behring (1854-1917) in 1891. He refined this treatment again in 1913. This bottle of “Behring’s diphtheria remedy” was taken from a German battleship during the First World War, the first major conflict where more troops died from their wounds rather than disease. This was partly due to vaccination.

Object number:

A635604

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Glossary:

Glossary: vaccination

The introduction of vaccine into the body for the purpose of inducing immunity. Coined originally to apply to the injection of smallpox vaccine, the term has come to mean any immunising procedure in which vaccine is injected.

Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: diphtheria

An acute highly contagious infection, generally affecting the throat but occasionally other mucous membranes and the skin. Diphtheria has been largely eradicated due to world-wide vaccination efforts.

Glossary: antitoxin

An antibody, a type of protein, which is produced to counter-act any bacterial toxins present in the body. It combines with toxins (antigens) in the blood and neutralises them.