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April 11, 1925

Die Konstitution als Faktor in der Pathologie und Therapie der Syphilis.

JAMA. 1925;84(15):1143-1144. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660410051034

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The author shows that there is a wide variation in the amount of treatment needed to attain a negative Wassermann reaction in cases of syphilis that are clinically similar. For instance, a man still in the secondary stage of the disease required ten times as much treatment to change his serum test to negative as did his wife, infected by him and also in the secondary stage. If the husband's spirochetes were arsenic-fast, why did they not retain this resistance in the body of the wife? The answer is that it is not a difference in the germs, but a different ability on the part of the patient's constitution to react to the stimulation of treatment, that makes the greatly different response. If this difference exists in Wassermann positive cases it exists also in those with a negative serum; therefore even the earliest cases should receive several courses of treatment

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