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a science studying the causes of occurrence, the mechanism of development and manifestation, the prevention, and the treatment of allergic illnesses. Questions concerning the change in an organism’s reactivity were studied by the French physiologists C. Richet, who in 1902 proposed the concept of anaphylaxis, and M. Arthus, who in 1903 effected a local anaphylactic reaction, and by the Russian scientist G. P. Sakharov, who in 1905 discovered serum anaphylaxis in guinea pigs. In 1906 studies by the Austrian doctor C. Pirquet appeared in which the concept of allergy was introduced. This resulted in research on certain aspects of the allergy. In Russia, allergological research was conducted by V. I. Molchanov, P. S. Medovnikov, and others. A. M. Bezredka, who studied the mechanism of anaphylaxis, introduced the concept of anaphylactic shock. As a result of the research, the relationships between the origin of many illnesses and the altered reactivity of the organism were clarified. These illnesses were designated “allergic.” There are certain allergic illnesses which are internal—for example, a number of blood diseases, bronchial asthma, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, collagen diseases, and the so-called autoallergic diseases, such as thyroiditis and glomerulonephritis. There are also allergic illnesses related to eye diseases (allergic conjunctivitis, sympathetic ophthalmia, and others); to otorhinolaryngolog-ical diseases (allergic rhinitides, sinusitis, laryngitides, and others); to nervous diseases (allergic polyradiculoneuritis, postvaccinal encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and others); and to skin diseases (occupational dermatoses and various types of urticaria). Thus, allergology is, without exception, closely related to all medical disciplines.
In the USSR, allergological questions are studied at the higher medical schools of many theoretical and clinical disciplines, in courses on pathophysiology, pathological anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, internal diseases, tuberculosis, pediatrics, skin diseases, otorhinolaryngology, neuropathology, obstetrics and gynecology, eye diseases, and so forth.
In a number of nations outside the USSR allergology is taught as an independent discipline. Departments of allergology exist in France, Spain, and Finland. Allergological clinics with courses in allergology for students and physicians are functioning in Prague, Budapest, Leiden, Marseille, London, and elsewhere. In the United States, approximately 30 centers for allergy studies have been set up. In Argentina and Mexico there are special courses in allergology taught under the chairs of therapy, pediatrics, and dermatology. Courses in allergology are also given in Australia and Japan. The programs and the scope of the allergology courses differ substantially among the different countries. In a majority, allergology is studied as a clinical course, with instruction in the modern methods of diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of allergic diseases. Physicians who have taken a course in allergology are qualified allergists after one or two years of practical training. These people are specialists in such fields as therapy, pediatrics, dermatology, and otorhinolaryngology. There are also general specialists. In nations where allergology is taught from an experimental standpoint, there are also allergy immunologists, allergy pharmacologists, and other types of specialists.
Special university departments and allergological clinics outside the USSR are conducting work on the scientific problems of allergology. In the USSR, a separate Allergological Laboratory of scientific research was established in 1961 within the system of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
In modern allergology, wide use is made of experimentation with animals; immunological, pathophysiological, and pathochemical research methods; various procedures of clinical immunological research (skin and serological tests); and pathophysiological and pathochemical research on allergy patients, using tests for studying lung function, tests for determining the content of histamine and other biologically active substances in the blood, and many other types of tests.
The results of research and the leading questions of allergology are discussed in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology (Basel, 1950) and in the Soviet journals Patologicheskaia fiziologiia i eksperimental’naia terapiia (from 1957), Biulleten eksperimental’noi biologii i meditsiny (from 1936), Zhurnal mikrobiologii, epidemiologii, immunobiologii (from 1924), and various clinical journals.
A. D. ADO