Thimerosal induces toxic reaction in non-sensitized animals.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1994 Jul ;104(3):296-301. PMID: 7518269
The effects of injection of thimerosal solution on nonsensitized animals was investigated. Intrafootpad injection of thimerosal solution in nonsensitized mice resulted in a swelling response which peaked 1 h after injection and lasted for more than 24 h. Histopathological examination showed that there were severe edema and infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils at the site of injection. An increased vascular permeability was observed after cutaneous injection of thimerosal solution on the back of nonsensitized rats. Since mercuric chloride and methyl mercury induced severer reactions, and thiosalicylic acid had no effect, mercury contained in thimerosal would have caused the reactions observed in this study. These results suggest that part of these hypersensitivity reactions against thimerosal observed among patients were possibly induced by the toxic effect of thimerosal. Therefore, thimerosal contained as a preservative in vaccine may augment the side-effects of the vaccination.