[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
March 23, 1957

BIOLOGICALLY FALSE-POSITIVE SEROLOGIC REACTIONSGUEST EDITORIAL

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School ( Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Chairman ) and the Skin and Cancer Unit of the University Hospital.

JAMA. 1957;163(12):1046-1047. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970470044010
Abstract

For many years physicians have been confronted with the problem of how to evaluate or interpret serologic reports obtained from the laboratory in determining the presence or absence of a syphilitic infection. Most physicians have encountered nonsyphilitic patients with unexplained positive serologic reactions.

While it is true that most positive serologic results are due to syphilis and perhaps represent a type of immunological reaction, it is no less true that some positive serologic results may be unrelated to syphilis and represent a general biological phenomenon. Many persons, therefore, have been stigmatized as having syphilis and even given unnecessary treatment on the basis of positive reactions disclosed by routine serologic examinations. With a continued decrease in the incidence of syphilis, there will be a relative increase of the biologically false-positive reactions. In fact, there is rapidly accumulating evidence1 that about 40% of the white persons in upper socioeconomic and educational

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×