Sheep that were wounded in the thigh muscle by a high-velocity bullet and simultaneously infected there with spores of type A were used to evaluate the prophylactic effectiveness of gas-gangrene antitoxin. Control sheep that had not received antitoxin almost all died of gas gangrene within 48 hr after wounding (survival rate 4·6–13 per cent. within 90 per cent. confidence limits). The survival rate increased when antitoxin was given prophylactically.

The effectiveness of antitoxin in preventing gas gangrene was found to depend to a large extent on the interval of time between the challenge and administration of antitoxin. If this was 9 hr or less, antitoxin was almost completely effective (survival rate 94–98·5 per cent.). The survival rate decreased as the interval lengthened; when it was 18–21 hr or more, the rate was similar to that observed with challenged controls.

It is concluded that gas-gangrene antitoxin is likely to be of value in the prevention of post-traumatic gas gangrene caused by , provided that it is given as soon as possible and preferably within 9 hr after wounding.


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