The Wassermann reaction is one of the most widely practiced laboratory tests, in spite of its technical shortcomings. It has passed through many stages of evolution, undergone many refinements of technic from time to time, suffered many attempts at its modification, and been lauded and maligned, but it still stands as a monumental aid in the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of syphilis; however, any further refinement that will increase its efficiency is obviously desirable. The conventional practice of the half hour primary incubation is the phase which I shall call into question at this time, as I believe it to be entirely inadequate and at the bottom of many of the discrepancies between the laboratory and the clinical findings.
The fixation of complement by syphilitic antibody or reagin depends primarily on three factors, namely, the amount of reagin in the quantity of serum, usually 0.1 c.c., the degree of dilution
BURDICK W. PROLONGED ICE BOX VERSUS SHORT WATER BATH INCUBATION IN WASSERMANN REACTION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1920;2(2):163–167. doi:10.1001/archderm.1920.02350080031003
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