In 1906, Eitner1 observed that the serum of a leper yielded a positive complement-fixation reaction with an extract of a leprous nodule. Two years later,2 he observed similar results with the serum of a second leper, and in addition he noted the occurrence of a positive Wassermann reaction employing an alcoholic extract of guinea-pig heart as antigen. These observations have stimulated a large number of investigations on the subject of complement fixation in leprosy, employing not only the antigens commonly used in the Wassermann reaction, but also extracts of leprous tissues and of various acid-fast bacilli, tuberculin, etc. One result of these investigations has been to spread the impression that in leprosy the Wassermann reaction may be positive in the absence of syphilis, as shown in the following brief review of the literature on the Wassermann reaction in this disease.
Meier,3 for example, reported 70 per cent,