Among recent modifications of the Wassermann reaction which are accepted today as adding to the refinement and delicacy of the test are the employment of cholesterin-sensitive antigens and the fixation of the complement under conditions of cold rather than as was originally carried out at 37 C. in the thermostat. In 1912-1913, McNeil,1 employing comparative tests with incubation at 37 C. and at ice-box temperature, showed an increase of more than 10 per cent. in delicacy of the low temperature over the high. These results were substantiated by Coca and L'Esperance,2 and in a large series of cases more recently by Smith and MacNeal.3
These authors conclude that the use of simple alcoholic antigen with the first incubation carried out in the ice-box is more sensitive in the detection of syphilis than the use of cholesterin-reinforced antigen with incubation at 37 C. or simple alcoholic antigen at
WILE UJ, HASLEY CK. SEROLOGIC CURE (?) IN THE LIGHT OF INCREASINGLY SENSITIVE WASSERMANN TESTS. JAMA. 1919;72(21):1526–1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610210022006
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