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April 5, 1947

FALSE POSITIVE TESTS FOR SYPHILISA Study of Their Incidence in Sporozoite-Induced Vivax Malaria

JAMA. 1947;133(14):1001-1003. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880140031007

The disease malaria has been well established as one of the conditions which may produce a positive serologic reaction for syphilis in nonsyphilitic persons. Various investigations, however, have yielded data that varies widely as to the incidence of such false positive reactions. Excellent reviews of these studies have been published by Davis1 and Beerman.2

An opportunity to reinvestigate the problem was afforded us two years ago when the United States Public Health Service initiated experiments concerned with the chemotherapy of sporozoite-induced human malaria. Our primary interest in obtaining specimens of serum from the subjects of these experiments lay in the development of a quantitatively standardized complement fixation test for malaria.3 However, a concurrent study of the incidence of false positive reactions in serologie tests for syphilis was also undertaken in view of the nature and scope of the experiments, which permitted the pretesting of a large group of selected persons before exposure to malarial infection and the examination of serial specimens of serum over extended

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