The manner in which malaria and other fevers bring about their favorable effects in syphilis, particularly neurosyphilis, is not known. Many hypotheses have been advanced to explain the action.
Plaut and Steiner1 suggest a group relationship between the malarial and syphilitic parasites, and believe that immune bodies stimulated by the malarial infection exercise an inhibitory influence on the further growth of the spirochetes. The question of the existence of immune reactions in malaria and of the production of protective bodies is still an unsolved one.
Pötzl2 suggests that the therapeutic effect of the malarial inoculation is due to a shifting of the reaction between the spirochetes and the nervous tissue. The abnormal permeability of the meningeal and cerebral blood vessels permits the ingress of hemolytic and other bodies which act as catalysts.
Nonne and his collaborators, Reese and Peter (quoted by Gerstmann), do not believe that the therapeutic
SCHAMBERG JF, RULE AM. STUDIES OF THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF FEVER IN EXPERIMENTAL RABBIT SYPHILIS: THE THERMAL DEATH POINT OF SPIROCHAETA PALLIDA. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1926;14(3):243–255. doi:10.1001/archderm.1926.02370210002001
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