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100 years of ‘Allergy’: can von Pirquet's word be rescued?


Prof. A.B. Kay, Leukocyte Biology Section, NHLI Division, Imperial College, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK. E-mail:


It is 100 years since Clemens von Pirquet wrote his classic paper introducing the term ‘allergy’. Although the word is no longer used in the way he intended, his concept of ‘changed reactivity’ laid the foundation for the modern science of immunology.

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