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May 1956

Influence of the Wassermann Test on Pregnancy and Childbirth

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Mo.

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;73(5):472-475. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550050050007

It was almost impossible to make a diagnosis of syphilis in the pregnant mother before Wassermann devised his serologic test for that disease. The great majority of such mothers do not have any signs or symptoms of syphilitic disease even when a most accurate history is taken and a searching physical examination is made. Since the history of syphilis in any family was hard to elicit because of the shame of having such a disease, it was not of much importance. In most instances the father would never admit that he had been afflicted with such a disease. This observation was not only true in the pregnant mother but it was true in nearly all syphilitic persons. Most persons suffering from syphilitic disease are in the state of latency most of their lives. There was no way of diagnosing this condition in the preWassermann

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