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Arthus reaction facts for kids

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In immunology, the Arthus reaction is a kind of local allergic reaction, when antibodies react to a chemical or protein in a person's blood, and have the antibodies get stuck in the walls of blood vessels in organs such as the heart, in joints, and kidneys.


The Arthus reaction was discovered by Nicolas Maurice Arthus in 1903. Arthus repeatedly injected ingredients of horse blood under the skin of rabbits. After four injections, he found that there was swelling and that the mixture was absorbed slowly. Further injections eventually led to dying of cells.

Arthus reactions have been infrequently reported after diphtheria and tetanus toxoid vaccinations. They are rare and can cause pain, swelling, bleeding, and occasionally death of tissue within 4–12 hours after the vaccine is given.

Related pages

  • Serum sickness

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Reacción de Arthus para niños

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