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February 1950

SYPHILIS: A Review of the Recent Literature

Author Affiliations


From the University of Pennsylvania, Departments of Dermatology and Syphilology, School of Medicine, Donald M. Pillsbury, M.D., Professor, and Graduate School of Medicine, Herman Beerman, M.D., Chairman.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1950;85(2):305-358. doi:10.1001/archinte.1950.00230080109008

AFTER thirteen years of yeoman service, during which time thirteen excellent annual reviews of the recent literature on syphilis were produced,1 the Johns Hopkins group, headed by Moore, has retired from this responsibility. We, the University of Pennsylvania group, have assumed the responsibility of continuing this annual effort with the hope that the results will be creditable.

Since July 1, 1948, hundreds of papers on syphilis have appeared in the world literature. They have dealt largely with penicillin therapy and serodiagnosis. The outstanding contribution of the year, in our opinion, was the appearance of Nelson and Mayer's study on immobilization of Treponema pallidum in vitro by antibody produced in syphilitic infection. This study opens new avenues for investigation of the biology of syphilis. This year also marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Kahn test, the first practical flocculation procedure for the serodiagnosis of syphilis. International problems of the venereal