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Article
April 24, 1926

ERROR OF BASING SERUM DIAGNOSIS OF SYPHILIS ON THE KAHN REACTION ALONE

JAMA. 1926;86(17):1273-1275. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670430015006
Abstract

It is so well known and generally recognized that the Wassermann test may at times yield a falsely negative reaction in syphilis that it is not my purpose here to discuss the subject except to state that improvements in technic have reduced their occurrence to a minimum, this being especially true of the Kolmer complement-fixation test. But the question of falsely positive reac

tions has been discussed at even greater length, so that the impression generally prevails that the occurrence of falsely positive Wassermann reactions is even more common than falsely negative reactions. This is certainly not true of the Kolmer complement-fixation test, as experience has shown conclusively its specificity for syphilis, as indicated by the recent review of Kilduffe.1 The Kolmer test has been used in this clinic for about four years, and in no instance can falsely positive reactions be said to have occurred. But the Kolmer test

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