The additions to our knowledge of syphilis during the last two decades are: (1) the discovery of the spirochete; (2) the Wassermann test, and (3) the new organic arsenic compounds. To these achievements of primary importance may be added the use of the dark-field microscope and the employment of spinal puncture for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
DISCOVERY OF THE SPIROCHETE
The discovery of the spirochete is one of those fundamental additions to our knowledge, the ultimate effect of which it is impossible to gage. The whole field of experimental syphilis has been placed on a scientific basis, and progress is as inevitable as it was in other fields after the discovery of the germs of diphtheria, tetanus, etc. A vista of unlimited possibilities has been opened.In the meantime this discovery has added a factor that has enormously improved the general prognosis of syphilis. It may be stated that there
POLLITZER S. GENERAL PROGNOSIS OF SYPHILIS IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT PROGRESS. JAMA. 1920;74(12):775–777. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620120001001