Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

All Hail Baron Clemens Peter Freiherr von Pirquet

Somebody had to be the first one to identify and name the reactions that are the result of allergies, rather than the million and one other causes of bodily reactions.

That someone was Baron Clemens von Pirquet, an Austrian scientist and pediatrician.

Wikipedia says of him:

In 1906 he noticed that patients who had previously received injections of horse serum or smallpox vaccine had quicker, more severe reactions to a second injection. He, along with Bela Schick, coined the word allergy (from the Greek allos meaning "other" and ergon meaning "reaction") to describe this hypersensitivity reaction.

Soon after, the observation with smallpox led Pirquet to realize that tuberculin, which Robert Koch isolated from the bacteria that cause tuberculosis in 1890, might lead to a similar type of reaction. Mantoux expanded upon Pirquet's ideas and the Mantoux test, in which tuberculin is injected under the skin, became a diagnostic test for tuberculosis in 1907.

You'll find a reference to the Baron, along with lots of other detailed information on allergy and intolerance, in a .pdf, Allergies and Other Sensitivities, from the AmsterdamKliniak. Don't worry, it's all in English.

The procedures they talk about may be slightly different from those normally pursued in the United States, but the general information is good and useful.

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