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January 14, 1939

A METHOD FOR THE DARK FIELD EXAMINATION OF PUS FOR SPIROCHAETA PALLIDA

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, John H. Stokes, M.D., Director.

JAMA. 1939;112(2):134-135. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800020001008a
Abstract

The visible contamination of a specimen of serum with cellular elements and débris renders that specimen almost useless for direct dark field examination for Spirochaeta pallida. Various technics have been devised for the preparation of a suggestive lesion in order to obtain a satisfactory specimen for dark field examination,1 but no method has been previously developed to convert a pus or blood contaminated specimen into one suitable for adequate dark field study. Carley2 advocates the dark field examination of urethral discharge when there is any suspicion of syphilis but states that this is not possible in all cases. In fact, Dr. John H. Stokes3 in commenting on the detection of syphilis in a urologic clinic stated: "A gonorrheal discharge contains so many pus cells that dark field examination is as unsatisfactory as from a heavily blood contaminated specimen. The white blood cell does not undergo lysis as

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