It has been the generally accepted plan in many clinics to regard as syphilitic those infants who are born of mothers known to be syphilitic, especially if the infant's Wassermann reaction is positive. This tradition has held in spite of a considerable amount of evidence that has been accumulated to show that an infant born of a mother with a positive Wassermann reaction is not necessarily infected with syphilis even if the Wassermann reaction of the infant's blood is positive.
Williams,1 in 1920, stated that "the existence of a positive Wassermann on the part of the mother does not necessarily mean that her child will develop syphilis." Cruickshank2 and Jeans and Cooke3 came to a similar conclusion when, on reexamination of infants who at birth had positive Wassermann reactions, they found some whose blood gave a negative reaction although they had not received antisyphilitic treatment. Lemež4
DUNHAM EC. THE DIAGNOSIS OF CONGENITAL SYPHILIS IN THE NEW-BORN. Am J Dis Child. 1932;43(2):317-321. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1932.01950020049005