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January 1, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(1):A23-30D. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140010081043

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Syphilis-Like Agent Found In Eyes Of Patients After 'Adequate' Therapy  An organism morphologically indistinguishable from Treponema pallidum is being found in patients who had received presumably adequate penicillin therapy for syphilis.Discovery of the organism in the aqueous humor of such patients has been made by investigators at several research centers in the United States and abroad.These investigators do not agree, however, that the organism is definitely T pallidum. Nor is its relationship to the pathogenesis of the various neurological and ocular lesions presented by these patients clearly established.

Implications For Therapy  Nevertheless, these findings could have profound implications for therapy, and further clinical and experimental investigation is urgently needed, says Leslie C. Norins, MD, PhD, director of the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory, PHS Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta.The finding of spirochetes in the aqueous humor of the eye was first reported by J. Lawton Smith, MD, associate