The theoretical conception on which the luetin test is based is one which many investigators must have had in mind before Noguchi made its realization possible by discovering a means of growing the Treponema pallidum in pure culture. For instance, in an article on "Allergy," von Pirquet had prophesied:
I personally feel quite sure that it will be possible to make the diagnosis of syphilis by cutaneous and subcutaneous inoculation as soon as the syphilis virus can be obtained in pure cultures.1
In the hope of obtaining a characteristic cutaneous reaction in syphilis various investigators abroad, as well as Schoenberg2 of New York, inoculated or applied extracts of syphilitic tissues, but the results were often contradictory and always unsatisfactory. After many fruitless efforts with various culture mediums, Noguchi finally discovered that when strict anaerobiosis and a medium consisting of serum water to which is added sterile tissue
ZIEGEL HFL. THE PRACTICAL VALUE OF NOGUCHI'S LUETIN REACTION. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1912;IX(4):520–524. doi:10.1001/archinte.1912.00060160123011
Best of JAMA Network 2022
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.