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June 12, 1915


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Dermatology, Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery; Attending Dermatologist, Cook County Hospital; Consulting Dermatologist, Chicago Lying-In Hospital CHICAGO

From the Dermatological Department of Cook County Hospital.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(24):1964-1966. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570500012003

A good deal of interest has been aroused lately in the new serum test for syphilis proposed by Landau.1 It is declared that this test is more sensitive than the Wassermann reaction and that its simplicity makes it available for every one. Among the many tests said to have these qualities, the Landau demands attention because of the popular interest shown in it and the possibility that it may come into more or less general use. Any new test for deciding so important a diagnosis as that of syphilis must be subjected to the sharpest scrutiny, and tried in many thousand cases.

Landau at first used as a reagent a 0.05 per cent. solution of iodin in liquid petrolatum. The composition of various samples of this solvent varied enough, however, to make it difficult to obtain a reliable reagent, so that he later adopted carbon tetrachlorid (CCl4) as