The complement fixation test for syphilis, initiated by Wassermann, has been made the subject of such exhaustive investigation and so many thorough statistical studies that it is practically impossible to find any new avenue of approach. Indeed, we find it difficult to say anything of this laboratory procedure without
repeating, verbatim, the words of other workers. Lacking certain knowledge of the specific complement binding substances present in the tissues of the syphilitic individual, we cannot yet attain our goal in the diagnosis of syphilis. Facing the fact that antigens prepared from the causative organism are entirely unsatisfactory and that the tissue extract antigens in common use are in no possible way biologically specific; and, further, since the complement binding substance is most abundant at the height of the infection, as opposed to the antibody production in bacterial dis
eases, it seems logical to consider the procedure in the light of
HARTMAN FW, REYNER CE. THE KOLMER COMPLEMENT FIXATION AS A SPECIFIC TEST FOR SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1924;82(3):196–198. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650290026006
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