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The high rate of infant mortality in the children of syphilitic parents is an element of great concern in the social problem, but even greater is the disaster caused by these children living to maturity with their condition unrecognized. How may these conditions be met? By adopting whatever means we can to determine the presence of syphilis, that it may receive prompt attention before the ravages of the disease are so great that the individual becomes a menace to society.
As an aid in determining the presence of syphilis in those cases presenting suspicious symptoms, it will be found that the serum diagnosis is of vast assistance. In the analysis of the symptoms in the cases of hereditary syphilis (to be referred to later) I found that by resorting to the Wassermann reaction a great many cases gave a positive reaction while not presenting a typical clinical picture of syphilis.
DeBUYS LR. A STUDY OF THE WASSERMANN REACTION IN CONNECTION WITH HEREDITARY SYPHILIS. Am J Dis Child. 1913;V(1):65-69. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1913.04100250068008