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March 12, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(11):878-879. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550370048004

After Schaudinn had brought forward the Spirochæta pallida as the probable cause of syphilis, the finding that gave the strongest support to the claims of this organism as the long-sought specific cause of syphilis was undoubtedly the positive results obtained by investigation of children born dead with inherited syphilis. The presence of spirochetes, sometimes in enormous numbers, within the internal organs of syphilitic fetuses freshly delivered under aseptic conditions, could not well be explained on any other basis than that they are the specific etiologic factor of the disease, and the abundant verification of this fact soon compelled acceptance of the spirochete by many who at first had been skeptical. And until by successful cultivation and inoculation all the laws of Koch have been satisfactorily and repeatedly fulfilled it will be the findings in the congenitally syphilitic fetus, rather than the observations in acquired syphilis of adults, by which the

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