In this preliminary note we desire to place on reco[ill] certain observations regarding the effect of the ingestion of alcohol on the Wassermann test. We have found that alcohol, when taken in considerable quantities, possesses the power of rendering the strongest positive serum negative, and that this negative reaction persists for a few hours to several days. These observations are of both practical and scientific interest and we hope, in a later contribution, to discuss them more at length.
The discovery that alcohol possesses this property was made during routine tests of the blood of a patient who had received salvarsan, and has since been confirmed in eight other cases.
The technic used in making the tests has been that usually employed in this laboratory, following closely the modification of the Wassermann test recommended by Noguchi, with the exception that an alcoholic extract of fetal luetic liver is used as
CRAIG CF, NICHOLS HJ. THE EFFECT OF THE INGESTION OF ALCOHOL ON THE RESULT OF THE COMPLEMENT FIXATION TEST IN SYPHILIS: A PRELIMINARY NOTE. JAMA. 1911;LVII(6):474–476. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260080038011
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