November 7, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(19):1602. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540190040004

According to the usual teachings, hereditary syphilis may result either by paternal or maternal transmission or from both these sources. It is generally taught, too, that the mother not only may pass on her own syphilis to the fetus, but that she may also be the means, as it were, of transferring virus without herself appearing to become infected. In the latter instance, in the light of our present knowledge of the etiologic rôle of the Spirochœta pallida in syphilis, it would be reasonable to assume that the semen from the syphilitic father is not in itself infectious but carries the spirochete which then perhaps might enter the ovum at the same time as the spermatozoon. There is much, however, that favors hereditary syphilis always being the result of syphilis in the mother. Thus, for instance, Welander in Stockholm has not seen a single case in which there was any

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