Metchnikoff, in his preface to the recent treatise of Levaditi and Roché on experimental syphilis, compares the evolution of our knowledge of syphilis to the three phases of the development of human thought as established by Comte: the theological, the metaphysical, and the scientific. He sketches briefly the history of syphilis through its first period, that of superstition, in which the only advance was the discovery of the specific remedy, mercury; through the second period of empirical medicine with its thorough clinical studies of the varied manifestations of syphilis and the recognition of gonorrhea and chancroid as disease entities; and through the period represented by the past half-decade of scientific investigation, during which the experimental transmission of the disease has been demonstrated, the etiology determined and a method of serum diagnosis established.He makes the statement, somewhat pardonable in one so largely responsible for
PEARCE RM. THE WASSERMANN REACTION IN THE PATHOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF SYPHILIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1910;VI(5):478–516. doi:10.1001/archinte.1910.00050330011002
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