Skin Hypersensitiveness to Hookworm Antigen

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  • School of Tropical Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico under the auspices of Columbia University, San Juan, Puerto Rico

The present study of cutaneous hypersensitivity to hookworm extract (Necator Americanus) was carried out on the island of Puerto Rico. In the investigation attempts were made to compare: first, the intensity of the skin reaction before and after treatment; second, the skin sensitivity in various age groups; third, to test the specificity of the reaction using as controls extracts of Ascaris lumbricoides, Fasciola hepatica and a common intestinal bacterium, Bacillus (Escherichia) coli.

The adult Necator americanus and Ascaris lumbricoides used in the preparation of the extracts were obtained from hospital patients on treatment. The worms were washed and dried over sulphuric acid, broken up, and finally ground in an agate mortar. Fasciola hepatica were obtained from fresh cattle livers immediately after killing. The bacterium coli extract was obtained by washing off with distilled water a forty-eight hour culture grown on nutrient agar, dried and finally ground.