- These are substances which antagonize the toxins formed in the body by pathogenic organisms, the toxins of snake venom and other animal poisons, and vegetable toxins such as abrin, ricin, &c. A healthy person can be rendered insusceptible by gradually accustoming him to increasing doses of these poisons, and this immunity is due to antitoxins which are found in the blood-serum and which are products of the blood cells.
Antitoxins can be prepared by immunizing a large animal, such as a horse, by injecting gradually increasing doses of specific toxins into its subcutaneous tissue.
Antitoxins are organic products designed to neutralize the formation of the toxins of certain diseases in the blood.
The antitoxins are examples of this variety.
The latter view, first advocated by Ehrlich, harmonizes with the facts established with regard to toxic action and the behaviour of antitoxins, and may now be regarded as established.