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May 12, 1917


Author Affiliations

Assistant Superintendent and Physician, North Reading State Sanatorium; Instructor in Pulmonary Diseases and Climatology, Tufts College Medical School NORTH WILMINGTON, MASS.; Deputy Commissioner, in charge of Bacteriological Laboratory, Boston Health Department; Instructor in Public Health Laboratory Methods, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Senior Bacteriologist, Boston Health Department; Serologist, Boston Health Department BOSTON

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(19):1386-1389. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270050088002

During recent years much experimentation has been carried out in determining the value of complement-fixation reactions for the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Results obtained by different workers show considerable variation. When, however, it is remembered that the value of the test is entirely dependent on the specific action of the antigen and that the antigens used by the many investigators have been prepared by widely divergent methods, it is to be expected that the results should be somewhat dissimilar. At best, we are but feeling our way toward a common understanding of the relation which our laboratory findings bear to the disease itself, and the test will eventually be established as of practical value only by a thorough comparison of all careful investigations rather than by the consideration of the work of any one person.

Several experimenters have obtained results of much promise, but on account of cross fixations with syphilitic