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Article
September 1938

A RELIABLE METHOD OF STAINING SPIROCHAETA PALLIDA IN SMEARS

Author Affiliations

LOS ANGELES

From the Los Angeles County General Hospital.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;38(3):427-428. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480150101015

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Abstract

For the identification of Spirochaeta pallida in serous exudates from a suspected superficial lesion the methods available include immediate examination of the material by dark field procedure, the application of various stains to the smear and the india ink method.

A staining method is here described which gives more dependable results than other methods, such as Giemsa's, Fontana's, Ghoregeb's, Gelarie's and others with which I am acquainted.

Experience shows that except in the hands of well trained examiners dark field examinations are not dependable and the proportion of positive findings is much below that actually possible. The biopsy method for demonstrating spirochetes is most satisfactory but entails a certain amount of inconvenience and added cost, which prevents the physician from performing the test on doubtful lesions of skin and mucous membrane. More frequent testing and the consequent finding of syphilis in a higher proportion of cases should result from the

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