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March 1948

SEROLOGIC CONFLICT: A Study of Serodiagnostic Discrepancies

Author Affiliations


From the Institute of Pathology, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1948;57(3_PART_I):368-373. doi:10.1001/archderm.1948.01520150090011

THE HISTORY of serology is punctuated throughout with the uncertainties presented to the minds of both serologists and clinicians by serologic conflict. This may be defined as differing reports on reactions in two or more types of blood tests for syphilis, whether from the same laboratory or from different sources. Inevitably the reporting of one reaction as positive and the other as negative on the same blood specimen must prove confusing to a physician. It is right and natural, then, that physicians and serologists should seek to eliminate conflict as far as possible and should endeavor to understand the probable causes behind the irreducible minimum of serologic discrepancy.

I have had experience with serologic tests for syphilis in large public health laboratories doing a heavy volume of work and also in a hospital laboratory handling a smaller number of specimens. The public health laboratory is apt to receive a larger

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